MARCUS - A hot-shooting Le Mars Gehlen girls team jumped out to a 17-8 lead in the first quarter, took a 29-23 lead in at halftime, and sustained a 41-32 margin after three quarters, on its way to a hard-fought 60-49 win over a pesky Marcus-Meriden-Cleghorn in War Eagle basketball action here Friday night.
Balanced scoring was the MMC girls' forte this night, with Anna Klingenberg leading the way with 14 points, followed by Samantha Taylor and Caitlin Johnson with 11 apiece, and Jessica Zubrod with nine. The active Taylor also led her team in rebounds with six, and in steals with five.
Jen Nussbaum paced the Lady Jays with 18 points, and Allison Holtgrewe scored 16. Le Mars jumped out to the first-half lead thanks to five three-pointers in the first two periods.
The host Eagles made 17-41 field goals for 41 percent, while Gehlen potted 23-49 for a warm 47 percent. MMC was fine at the line, sinking 14-17 free throws, and Gehlen netted 9-13.
The Eagle cause was hurt by 24 costly turnovers, many of those careless passes against the Jays' stifling full-court defensive pressure.
"It was nice to score some points against a tough opponent," said MMC's first-year coach Shane Williams. "We've been only scoring in the 30s the first two games, so we are improving in that area. We stayed with them after falling behind early, but ran out of time."