Led by the performances of veteran returning players Sarah Link and Kayla Dixon, the defending state champion and host Madison Warhawks opened a new girls basketball season with a 53-42 victory over the Marshall Statesmen.
Link amassed a double-double with 13 rebounds and 10 points to go with five assists and two steals in the Nov. 29 non-district high-school clash between neighborhood rivals. Dixon scored a team-high 15 points and collected five steals with a block.
Madison took the lead for good at 16-14 last in the first quarter on a three-pointer from the right wing by Avery Griepentrog. The started an 11-0 Madison run that helped give the team a 28-20 halftime lead.
The Warhawks, 27-2 last season, were ahead 40-30 at the end of three quarters.
Madison graduated five players who either started or played a lot last season.
“We are still figuring out who we are, but we have a good group and they are ready to step up,” Madison coach Kirsten Stone said. “They are working on chemistry and getting used to each other and learning Madison basketball.”
Griepentrog also had a strong outing against Marshall with 13 points, eight rebounds and two steals. Stella Gougoufkas and six points and four rebounds for Madison and Lillian Perkins added seven points and five rebounds off the bench.
Madison outrebounded Marshall, 33-18.
“We need to improve in all phases, but I thought we faught, stood our ground, kept our poise and didn’t quit,” Marshall coach Mike Trivisonno said. “That was the big positive we took from the game. Madison is going to be very good again this season. They have a lot of good players who have played against a lot of good players in the past.”
The young Statesmen (5-17 last season) have just two seniors included on their roster and two ninth graders. One of those freshmen is point guard Adora Nwude. She led Marshall with 15 points, six rebounds and two assists.
“For a freshman, Adora is very poised,” Trivisonno said.
Brennah Lee-Pawlak added 12 points for the Statesmen; Alexandra Nassif had seven points and three rebounds; Hanna Rohde had four points; and Anna Musgrove had five rebounds, three assists and two points.