Posted: Thursday, 07 February 2013 11:51PM

Marshfield girls beat Rogersville on emotional night

Marshfield, Mo. (For  -- With a plethora of purple throughout the gymnasium and an emotional pregame speech from Marshfield head coach Shelly Jones for Cancer Awareness Night, the Lady Jays turned up the scoring in the second half and defeated the Rogersville Wildcats 64-32.

With a number of cancer survivors from both schools standing hand-in-hand with the players during the singing of the National Anthem, emotions were high as both teams began the game playing extremely inspired basketball.

While offense hard to come by, Marshfield led Rogersville by one point at the end of the first quarter. Although scoring was low, both coaches praised the effort by both teams to begin the game.

“Honestly, I thought we were both playing our tails off,” said Jones. “The emotion at the beginning of the game with us doing the cancer awareness and having cancer survivors come out on the floor just charged every kid up, and we were just going crazy there. Credit to Rogersville for the guts that they had and how hard they played.”

While junior Lauren Aldridge also struggled offensively early on by missing four of her first five shots in the first, it didn’t take her long in the second quarter to help Marshfield build the lead to as much as nine.

Outsized Rogersville continued to battle, however, and played as well as they could as they ended the second quarter trailing 29-23.

“We came out with all kinds of energy and effort,” Rogersville head coach Keith Spaulding said. “They played hard together. They were playing inspired. Any time you get a group of kids that wants to do that you have a chance to be successful.”

When talking to her team during halftime, Jones had a simple message for them if they were to be successful.

“Fundamentals,” said Jones. “Honestly, and I know that is a cliché word that you use, but it’s one of those things that we had to get back to. We were just running haggard, and we weren’t together and doing the things that we had been working on.”

The Lady Jays did just as their coach asked as they began the second half like a team on a mission. After exchanging baskets to begin the quarter, Marshfield went on a 20-0 run in a matter of minutes to effectively put the game away.

What was a six point game at halftime was suddenly a 25 point Marshfield lead to end the third.

“They made a couple of adjustments [in the third quarter] that we just had no answers to because we don’t have the personnel to do it with,” said Spaulding. “The other thing was they started making shots and we started missing shots. We didn’t make a lot of shots in the first half, but the second half we got stone cold.”

Indeed, most of the damage was done by keeping it simple and making the extra pass. Coach Jones couldn’t have been happier with the decision making from her team while building the lead.

“It was beautiful when they [made the extra pass],” Jones said. “I thought it was very unselfish play. They were able to break down the defense and make the proper decision on the pass.”

While Lauren Aldridge finished with 21 points and had a handful of assists as well, it was bench play by sophomore post player Samantha French and hustle plays by Makenna Smith, Maddie McCall, Allison VanDiggelen, and Madison Clark that had Shelly Jones most excited about the victory.

“[Samantha] French off the bench played strong,” Jones said. “Madison Clark had a tremendous amount of huge rebounds and block outs. It was a team effort tonight. Lauren would be the first one to tell you that. It took all of them. All of them had assists, all of them had rebounds, steals, deflections and were a part of that comeback in that surge in the second half.”

Marshfield (12-12) travels to Springfield Catholic on Feb. 11, while the Wildcats (3-17) host Hollister on the same night.

Rogersville 11-12-5-4---32
Marshfield 12-17-24-11---64

Kat Arteaga 7, Haley Rust 7, Audra Metz 7, Natalie Spaulding 5, Sam Stiles 5, Crystal Crawford 1

Lauren Aldridge 21, Samantha French 12, Makenna Smith 9, Madison Clark 8, Allison VanDiggelen 6, Maddie McCall 4, Peyton Greenlee 3, Taylor King 1

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