The Bluejay boys used a rousing second half in Friday’s 52-41 home triumph over Marshfield to improve to 6-4 overall and 3-1 in the Valley.
In the first half of Friday’s home game, the Marshfield boys threatened to break open the game but a hot three-point shooting streak by Austin Reissmann kept Merrill firmly in the contest. Reissmann drilled three treys to help MHS keep pace and a powerful Jake Anderson dunk fueled a 6-0 finish and a 22-19 halftime lead.
It was the Bluejays blowing open the contest, however, with a 17-7 advantage in the third quarter pushing it to 39-26. In the first minute of the third, Keenan Stellingworth put back an offensive rebound and made the free throw after he was fouled and Chaz Mootz drained a three. The Jays ran it all the way to 39-23 before the Tigers converted a late three of their own.
Anderson kicked off the forth with another impact play, a huge block on the defensive end that Merrill corralled. The Jays handled Marshfield’s full-court press in the fourth quarter, scoring easy baskets off a Mootz drive and then a dish to Anderson. Merrill held a 47-32 lead with 2:51 to go. The Tigers were able to cut it to 10 with 30 seconds left, but Reissmann made a late free throw to end it.
Several Jays made solid contributions in the gme, including Mootz (17 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists), Reissmann (15 p), Anderson (7 p, 7 r, 3 blocks, 3 steals, 2 a), Stellingworth (5 p, 3 r, 2 st), Drew Hoff (3 p), Adam Messerschmidt (3 r), Sutton (3 r) and Scott Wallace (3 a).
Reissmann hit 4-of-5 treys on the game to help MHS finish 7-of-16 from long range (44%). Merrill hit 54% of its field goals overall, while limiting Marshfield to 40% shooting overall (17-43) and 13% from three (2-16).