Rhinelander High School senior guard Kenedy Van Zile only needed three points to pass Mike Flory's all-time scoring record of 1,566 points. And on Thursday night in a non-conference contest against Marshfield, she did just that and splashed a three on the Hodags' first shot of the night from the right wing just over a minute into the game at the Jim Miazga Community Gymnasium. The Hodags would go on to win 50-47 over the Tigers, who are first in the Wisconsin Valley Conference at 11-1.
It was a slow start where Marshfield went up 4-0 in the first minute of action. That's when Van Zile made a cut the rim and circled back out to the right wing, where she received the pass from junior Ella Schiek. Van Zile swished the triple on the Hodag's first shot of the night at 16:45. The contest was stopped as Van Zile celebrated with her teammates and Coach Ryan Clark spoke a few words honoring her accomplishments.
Van Zile's first triple sparked a 10-0 run for the Hodags, and was also their largest lead of the night. Junior Rebecca Lawrence scored off a steal and transition basket and added a triple. Sophomore Megan Brown also scored on a drive. It was a close battle for the rest of the contest. Marshfield would take a 26-23 lead at the half after Loryn Jakobi had an offensive rebound and putback at the buzzer.
Senior Cynthia Beavers and Van Zile sparked Rhinelander's offense early in the second half. Van Zile scored on a transition layup from Lawrence and Beavers followed with back to back drives. Van Zile added a pair of free throws and another steal and transition to put RHS up 36-33 midway through the second half.
Van Zile had a pair of drives to the basket to give the Hodags a 40-38 lead before Marshfield responded with six unanswered points to go up 40-44. Quincy Lang added a pair of free throws and teammates Desirae Weisenberger and Paige Preston also scored. With about three minutes left RHS clawed their way back and tied the game 44-44 with a pair of free throw from Van Zile and a transition bucket from Beavers.
Marshfield's Danielle Minsaas hit a three with 1:40 left in the game and the Tigers would attempt to face-guard Van Zile down the stretch. Van Zile was fouled but missed her bonus free throw, but Ella Schiek came up with the offensive rebound and kicked to Van Zile who hit the three to tie the game up again with 1:21 left.
The next few three possessions both teams traded turnovers which would give RHS the ball back with 16.6 seconds where the Tigers fouled Beavers on the inbounds. Beavers made the first bu missed the second attempt and Ella Schiek again came up with a big offensive rebound but was called for a double dribble that gave Marshfield the ball back with 9.9 seconds left. Kaydee Johnson of the Tigers got a shot off with about five seconds left and Beavers got the board and was fouled. She connected on both free throws wtih 3.6 seconds left. Maddie Michaelis of the Tigers put up a half-court shot at the buzzer to tie the game up but missed as RHS held on to win 50-47.
Van Zile finished the night with 27 points on her record-breaking night which included four triples and finishes 7-10 from the line. Beavers recorded 12 points, recording 10 of them in the final 18 minutes and she also went 6-8 from the line. Lawrence chipped in seven points as well.
Marshfield had a balanced attack led by Minsaas with 11 points, Weisenberger with 10 points, and Johnson added nine points. The Tigers went 7-9 from the free throw line while Rhinelander finished 15-22.
Rhinelander is now 16-5 overall and will look to close out a perfect Great Northern Conference season tonight when they host Tomahawk for a girls'/boys' doubleheader. From there, RHS will shift their focus to playoffs where they will take on the winner of the Merrill/Wausau East contest.