Girls Basketball

Ella Van Weelden helps Marion march to 12-0

Girls' basketball: Freshman nets career-high 18; Indians handle South Tama, 68-34

MARION — If you’d think Ella Van Weelden would have entered the Marion girls’ basketball program with two strikes against her — she’s a freshman, and she’s a move-in — forget it.

She feels like anything but an outsider.

“At first, I was really nervous,” Van Weelden said. “But from the start, from summer workouts and open gyms, everybody has been really welcoming. It’s like a second family.”

Van Weelden played her best game to date, scoring 16 of her career-high 18 points in the first half as Class 4A top-ranked Marion dusted South Tama, 68-34, in a Wamac Conference West Division girls’ basketball game Tuesday night at Marion High School.

The Indians (12-0 overall, 6-0 division) collected 24 steals, a big chunk of South Tama’s 38 turnovers, and maintained a one-game divisional lead over Center Point-Urbana in the divisional race. They won their 21st straight regular-season game and their 29th consecutive divisional contest.

Marion has a lot of strengths, and depth is at the top of the list. Van Weelden, who came to Marion last summer from Benton Community along with junior sister Leah, is part of a second team that is better than most starting units.

“We feel like we have two first teams,” Coach Corby Laube said. “But you can only start with five on the floor.”

Marion was slow out of the gate and faced an 11-6 deficit when Van Weelden ignited the Indians.

She hit back-to-back 3-pointers and added a layup in a 70-second stratch, and the Indians didn’t trail again.

“I made a couple shots, the adrenaline started pumping, and I guess I just sort of went off,” Van Weelden said.

South Tama (5-6, 3-3) was still within 22-19 at the 6:40 mark of the second quarter, then the Indians went on a steal-and-score flurry and built the advantage to 44-21 by intermission.

Marion concluded the third quarter with a 14-0 run.

Kayba Laube and Mia Laube added 12 points apiece, with Kayba recording six assists and five steals.

Jessica Musgrave paced the Trojans with 12 points, nine rebounds and four assists.

MARION 68, SOUTH TAMA 34

At Marion

SOUTH TAMA (34): Sadie Smith 0-2 2-2 2, Jaelin Berger 1-3 3-4 4, Jessica Musgrave 5-10 2-5 12, Madison Rohach 2-6 0-1 5, Taylor Ray 0-2 0-0 0, Tylese Rosenberger 2-4 0-0 4, Carissa Musgrave 2-4 0-0 6, Makayla Backen 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 12-31 7-12 34.

MARION (68): Chloe Rice 3-4 1-2 7, Caitlyn Smith 1-2 0-0 3, Randi Wright 1-7 4-6 6, Mia Laube 3-7 4-5 12, Kayba Laube 4-9 2-2 12, Riley Wright 1-5 2-3 4, Leah Van Weelden 2-3 2-2 6, Sophie Willette 0-3 0-0 0, Ella Van Weelden 7-14 0-0 18, Olivia Draves 0-0 0-0 0, Sydney Nielsen 0-1 0-0 0, Delaney Rice 0-0 0-2 0, Kenzie Redmond 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 22-56 15-22 68.

Halftime: Marion 44, South Tama 21. 3-point goals: South Tama 3-7 (Rohach 1-2, Rosenberger 0-1, C.Musgrave 2-4), Marion 9-24 (Smith 1-2, Ra.Wright 0-3, M.Laube 2-3, K.Laube 2-6, Ri.Wright 0-2, L.Van Weelden 0-1, E.Van Weelden 4-7). Team fouls: South Tama 15, Marion 15. Fouled out: J.Musgrave. Rebounds: South Tama 31 (J.Musgrave 9), Marion 26 (Smith 7). Assists: South Tama 6 (J.Musgrave 4), Marion 15 (C.Rice, K.Laube 6). Steals: South Tama 8 (J.Musgrave 3), Marion 24 (K.Laube 5). Turnovers: South Tama 38, Marion 15.

l Comments: (319) 368-8857; jeff.linder@thegazette.com

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