Although probably a bit closer than preferred, the guys got just what they were hoping for in Tuesday night’s 65-62 conference road win over 4th place Marshfield.
The bout would prove to be a dogfight from the start, as the kitties seized a narrow 34-33 lead in the first. Merrill responded by edging Marshfield 32-28 in the second period for the much needed WVC win.
While the Tigers may have limited Bluejay standout Zach Mootz a bit; 14 points (4/5 FG, 1/2 3pt, 5/7 FT, 7r, 4a), sophomore guard Quinn Steckbauer reminded them of the varied Bluejay arsenal with a career high 23 point performance (8/14 FG, 4/6 3pt, 3/3 FT, 5a). Fellow sophomore Kordell Renken followed with a solid 9 point evening (4/6 FG, 1/1 3pt, 3r, 2a).
“We put together an entire game,” comments head coach Jake Schalow.
“I thought we were very good offensively, and defensively we made enough stops at the right time to beat a very dangerous Marshfield team. It was a great team win with 8 players scoring as well as having multiple players push double figures.”
Holding at 4th in the conference, the guys return to the court Friday taking on WVC top dog SPASH at the MHS Field House. Game time is set for 7:30 PM.
MHS: 33 32-65
MFD: 34 28-62
Tangle with the Warriors
Friday night, the Merrill boys headed south to Wausau West High School for a showdown with the Warriors.
The Jays hit the court wings spread and talons braced; jumping out to a comfortable 29-20 lead in the first. Despite a staunch Bluejay second-half effort, a 35-point Warrior counter-offensive would go on to take the 55-53 win and seal the 2-0 series on the season for West.
Despite the loss, Bluejay junior Zach Mootz nearly broached a career high performance with 29 points on the night (9/13 FG, 6/6 3 pt, 5/12 FT, 7r, a, st).
Sophomore Quinn Steckbauer fired home 13 points (3/7 FG, 1/4 3 pt, 6/6 FT, 3 ast, 3 stl); while Chase Bonnell made good for 8 points (3/5 FG, 2/3 3 pt, 2r, 3a, 2st).
“I thought we played well enough to win,” comments head coach Jake Schalow. “However execution down the stretch was not where it needed to be to win. In addition, 11/22 from the free throw line will not win many games.”
MHS: 29 24-52
WWW: 20 35-55