By Jared Schmeltzer
Last Friday night the Merrill boys basketball team hosted Wisconsin Rapids in a confernce match up. The Bluejays played well agaiainst the Raiders and led for the entire game as they got the 54-46 victory.
“I thought that our gameplan did a great job of neutralizing their size and took them out of their motions actions,” comments Bluejay head coach Jake Schalow, continuing to say, “and our players did a great job of following the plan. We forced them to take more threes than they have shown in any game in conference this year.”
The Bluejays outscored Rapids by a score of 24-15 in the first half of play. Chase Bonnell led the charge for Merrill as he was able to tally 12 first half points. Quinn Steckbauer did his part as well as he finished the half with eight points. “Chase did a great job of getting out in transition and getting layups.” Comments coach Schalow.
The second half of play was a good one as Rapids was able to pull close to the Bluejays a few times, but never able to evertake the lead. Steckbauer had a monster second half, putting up 19 points, including a couple of clutch three pointers late in the game. Coach Schalow said this about Steckbauer, “Quinn was solid finishing the game from the free throw line and hitting a couple big threes late in the second half.”
Chase Bonnell followed up his big first half with seven more points in the second half, bringing his total to 19. The Bluejays leading scorer on the year, Zach Mootz was held to only two points for the entire game. Coach Schalow was proud of how his team overcame such a big obsticle saying, “It says a lot about our team that we could find a win even when Rapids holds our leading scorer to 2 points. Credit to Zach though for not forcing shots, he made big plays that set up others and trusted his teammates.”
Quinn Steckbauer led the Bluejays in scoring with 27 points. Steckbauer was also able to get two steals and an assist. Chase Bonnell finished the game with 19 points, five rebounds, two assists and three steals. Despite his only two points scored, Zach Mootz found a way to help the team get the win with his 10 rebounds, four assists and steal.
The Bluejays will finish up their regular season on Monday as they host Mosinee at 7:15 p.m.