By Jared Schmeltzer
On Wednesday (Dec. 27), the Merrill boys basketball team traveled to Green Bay to take on Luxemburg-Casco at the Kress Center. The Bluejays were able to take care of business and get the 82-57 victory.
In the first half the Bluejays built an 11-point lead on the Spartans. Jared Olhoff led the way for Merrill with 10 first half points, coming off of a three pointer, a free throw and three layups. Quinn Steckbauer had nine points in the first half, hitting one three pointer while Zach Mootz had seven of his nine points for the game in the first half, also hitting a three pointer. The Bluejays went into the half leading the Spartans 38-27.
In the second half Merrill scored 44 points while holding the Spartans to only 30. Steckbauer followed up his solid first half with and even better second half as he put up 18 points, knocking down two three pointers along the way. Michael Casper had 10 second half points to bring his point total to 16 on the game. The Bluejays fouled 11 times in the second half, giving the Spartans 16 free throw attempts where they knocked down 12.
The Bluejays walked away with an 82-57 win and rested as they would face Beaver Dam the following day at noon.
Bluejays fall to Beaver Dam
On Thursday, the Bluejays fell just short as Beaver Dam got the 56-53 win.
It was a tightly contested game throughout as Beaver Dam led Merrill in the first half by only two points. The Bluejays relied on the three ball in the first half as they knocked down five to give them 15 of their 27 points. Mootz led the Merrill offense with 11 first half points, nine of which coming off of three pointers. Steckbauer would follow Mootz with four first half points, knocking down both of his free throw attempts.
The second half was even closer than the first with Beaver Dam outscoring Merrill by only one point in the half. Mootz kept up his solid game with 14 more points in the half, hitting one more three pointer and knocking down five of his six free throws. Steckbauer added five more points in the second half to bring his game total to nine. Olhoff would also score five in the half to get his total to eight.
The Bluejays flipped the script with the fouls from their last game, only allowing Beaver Dam five free throw attempts in the entire game, while Merrill attempted 17 and knocked down 12.
The Bluejays will be back on the court Friday as they host SPASH at 7:15 p.m. in a their first meeting against the Panthers this year.