Girls basketball: Defense, Ruden lift JM over Mayo for third time

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Mayo's Shelby Stewart, left, fights John Marshall's Jenna Milligan for possession of the ball on Thursday at Mayo High School.

Trailing by two points with 10 minutes remaining, John Marshall girls basketball girls basketball coach Phil Schroeder turned to his team's best attribute Thursday night at the Mayo High School gym: Defense.

"During a time-out I told the girls it's on the defense if we were going to get out of here with a win tonight," Schroeder said. "Our defense has really picked us up and helped us out when we're not scoring so well."

The Rockets responded the way they have been, siphoning off Mayo from the basket down the stretch en route to a 44-36 win in a Big Nine Conference girls basketball game.

JM held Mayo to a single field goal and one free throw in the last 10 minutes and outscored the Spartans 16-4.

JM held a third straight opponent under 40 and won its third straight to improve to 11-7 overall and 9-2 in the Big Nine. Mayo is 6-3 in conference and 8-8 overall.


"We picked up the defensive pressure in the second half and made some passing lanes difficult," Schroeder said. "Defense is a team thing and it's something we have gotten much, much better at."

JM sophomore forward Jamie Ruden poured in 26 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, and the Rockets beat Mayo for the third time in three meetings this season. A fourth meeting could occur in the section playoffs.

"We kind of self-destructed down the stretch the first two times we played them, too," Rich Decker said, referring to JM's two double-digit wins over Mayo in December. "But give JM credit, they play hard. They didn't cheat; they beat us fair-and-square."

Schroeder said "you might say Ruden was the difference," and Decker agreed, calling her "the best overall player in the conference."

The strong 6-foot sophomore scored 10 of 15 points for JM in a game-changing 15-2 run midway through the second half, which turned a 30-24 deficit into a 39-32 JM lead with 4:13 remaining.

"I couldn't score if my teammates didn't pass the ball to me in a good position," said Ruden, who entered the game averaging 21.6 points per game.

"They're always looking for me and they're being very unselfish, and that's awesome."

Mayo put together a 10-0 run of its own in the first half to build a lead that it held for 18 minutes spanning both halves. Junior forward Hannah Larson laced three-pointers from the left side on consecutive possessions, and Olivia Korngable made a three from the right corner to help the Spartans to a 23-19 lead at the break.


When Larson opened the second half with another three, Mayo had its biggest lead at 26-19. She finished with a team-high 14 points, with 11 in the first half.

"We're the kind of team that's got to hit a few three's, but we really didn't shoot them very well tonight," Decker said. "One thing about our team, we have a hard time getting second shots because we're not very physical, and that was a problem against JM tonight."

Freshman guard Olivia Korngable added nine points for Mayo, all in the first half, and also had seven assists. For JM, senior forward Haley Holtorf scored eight points, and sophomore Jenna Milligan had six rebounds.

Decker said his young team continues to improve, "and that's the important thing."

The same goes for JM, which has won seven of nine since the Rotary tournament. Ruden said it was a matter of getting used to playing together.

"I think we're a lot better since the early part of the season," she said. "Our team chemistry is at a good state; everybody on our team is close friends."

John Marshall 44, Mayo 36



Kami Haider 4, Katie Boldt 0, Haley Holtorf 8, Jenna Milligan 3, Jamie Ruden 26, Angel Agoth 0, Nicole Fautsch 3.

Other stats:Ruden 10 rebounds, 3 blocks, 2 steals; Milligan 6 rebounds; Holtorf 2 steals, 2 rebouds; Haider 2 steals, 1 rebound.

MAYO (36)

Shelby Stewart 4, Emma Korngable 0, Olivia Korngable 9, Kayla Crockett 0, Hannah Larson 14, Courtney Hruska 2, Anna Winter 7, Siennah Stamsness 0.

Other stats:L. Korngable 7 assists, 4 rebounds, 4 steals; Larson 4 rebounds, 2 steals; C. Hruska 4 rebounds, 2 steals; Winter 3 rebounds, 3 steals, 3 assists.

Halftime:MAYO 23, JM 19.

Free throws:JM 5-8, MAYO 5-11.

Three-point goals:JM 3 (Holtorf 2, Fautsch 1), MAYO (Larson 3, O. Korngable 1, Stewart 1).


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