Girls basketball: Big runs fuel Gillett past Suring

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Pressure defense leads to easy buckets for Tigers
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Suring’s Wylee Van Bellinger (23) goes up for a shot while being defended by Gillett’s Grace Wickman, right and Emily Umentum (14) during Friday’s Marinette & Oconto Conference clash at Gillett High School. (Times Herald photo by Morgan Rode)

It was apparent early on that the pressure defense played by Gillett would be a problem for Suring in a Marinette & Oconto Conference girls basketball clash at Gillett High School on Friday.
The defense forced numerous Suring turnovers and rushed shots, leading to easy baskets for Gillett on its end of the court. Behind a couple of extended runs, Gillett pulled away for a 73-34 victory.
“That’s the best the press has looked all year,” Gillett coach Justin Daul said. “They’re (Suring) a good young basketball team that’s well-coached also, so to do what we did tonight was a good feeling to kind of break out of our shell with the press. It’s been a struggle over the start of the season, but to have it go the way it did tonight, it felt good.”
Gillett set the tone early, and opened the game on a 17-0 run. Tigers’ sophomore Aubrey DeBauch tallied eight points during the run.
The Tigers kept piling up the points, with sophomore Karissa Schaal getting into the mix as the hosts built a 26-8 advantage.
After a couple of timeouts from Suring coach Shaun Wagner, the Eagles started to settle in. Suring ended the half on a 16-8 run, with sophomores Kylee Stelzer and Paige Krueger each tallying multiple baskets to trim its deficit to six briefly.
“I think with any team trying to break the press, it comes down to your composure and using good pass fakes and being the aggressor,” Wagner said. “To often, we were doing none of the above — losing our composure, not using pass fakes, playing passively, trying to make the hard pass… .”
The second half started much like the first half, as the Gillett press forced several Suring turnovers, leading to a trio of baskets for sophomore Brianna DeBauch.
“We had a lot of fastbreaks, some easy layups coming quick,” Brianna DeBauch said. “It’s a quick pass into the post and boom, it’s up and good.”
After Suring cut the deficit to 11, 42-31, Gillett went on another big run to put the game away. The Tigers scored 21 straight points and ended the game on a 31-3 run over the final 12 minutes.
Brianna DeBauch tallied 17 of her team-high 21 points in the second half while Aubrey DeBauch added 18 points. Schaal and junior Sydney Young each provided eight points.
Gillett will look to keep things rolling on Thursday when traveling to Crivitz to take on the Wolverines.
“It (the win over Suring) gives us a lot of confidence,” Brianna DeBauch said. “We have a big game coming up next week and this win really tells us that we can put pressure on the other team, come together and work as a team.”
Krueger and Stelzer each finished the contest with nine points for Suring. Seniors Angel Griffin and Wylee Van Bellinger joined freshman Ryann Wagner in scoring five points each.
“I don’t think I want to forget about this game, because if you forget it, I think we will make the same mistakes,” Van Bellinger said. “But we can’t lose confidence because of a loss like this — we know our skills, we just have to know how to use them. The whole game is a mind game and that’s our biggest problem right now. We have the physical skills but controlling our mind is the big part.”
After a game at Gresham on Tuesday (Dec. 18), the Eagles have a lengthy break before returning to the court on Thursday, Jan. 3 to host Lena.
Gillett (73)
Sydney Young 4-4 8, Aubrey DeBauch 4-4 18, Karissa Schaal 2-6 8, Brianna DeBauch 2-3 21, Camryn Long 0-0 6, Grace Wickman 1-4 5, Emily Umentum 0-2 0, Macy Franti 2-4 7.
Suring (34)
Ryann Wagner 2-4 5, Linzy Runge 1-2 1, Kylee Stelzer 1-4 9, Paige Krueger 1-4 9, Angel Griffin 1-2 5, Wylee Van Bellinger 2-2 5.
Gillett 34 39 — 73
Suring 24 10 — 34