By Jeremy Ratliff
Friday night, Merrill Boys Basketball (6-4) found themselves entrenched in yet another tooth ‘n nail slugfest in a non-conference bout with Rhinelander (3-3).
Both teams were able to assert themselves defensively, tying at 42 at the final buzzer. Despite the defensive dogfight, the Hodags would still manage to put the pedal to the floor in overtime, outscoring the Jays 13-5 to seal the 55-47 win.
Zach Mootz paced the Merrill guys with a solid 18-point performance (2/10 FG, 1/5 3pt, 13/14 FT, r, a, st). Junior Jared Ollhoff also cracked the double-digit barrier with 13 pts (3/9 FG, 1/2 3pt, 6/8 FT, 4r, 3st); as did Quinn Steckbauer with 12 points (4/11 FG, 1/3 3pt, 3/3 FT, 2r, 2st).
“We had another game where we played well in stretches,” comments head coach Jake Schalow. “Defensively, we put together a strong game, but to shoot only 26% for the entire game makes it difficult to win many games like that.”
After Tuesday’s bout with New London was cancelled due to inclement weather, the guys will enjoy a short break before returning to the hardwood on Friday with a trip to Schofield for a showdown with WVC 7th place D.C Everest. Game time is set for 7:45 p.m.
RDR: 22 20 13-55
MRL: 22 20 5-47