MARSHALL - Offensively, the Marshall Tigers came into Thursday's game against Sioux Falls Washington at the top of their game, scoring a season-high 89 points and connecting on 12 three-pointers in a blowout win against Jackson County Central Tuesday. Thursday night against the Warriors, the Tigers' offense came to a grinding halt.
Washington, ranked fifth in South Dakota's highest class (AA), shut down Marshall with its zone defense in the second half, holding the Tigers to their lowest point total of the season in a 59-44 non-conference win at Marshall High School. Down three at halftime, Marshall managed just 15 second-half points against the Warriors stifling defense.
The Tigers, who averaged more than 60 points per game coming into Thursday, shot 37 percent from the field and were 1 of 12 from beyond the arc.
Photo by Matt Dahlseid
Marshall’s Caleb Johnson, right, tries to drive past Sioux Falls Washington’s Matthew Hermanson in the second half of Thursday’s non-conference game at Marshall High School.
Marshall (9-5) and Washington (9-4) had played in close game the previous three seasons, with neither team winning by more than six points. Thursday, the Tigers played well enough defensively to keep it close through the first half of the game, but the offensive prowess that had been on display against JCC on Tuesday was nowhere to be found against the Warriors.
"We took ourselves out of that rhythm," Marshall head coach Tom Critchley said. "The other night, we shot the ball well because we were feeling good about ourselves and we had the momentum going. We stopped that aggressiveness (Thursday).
"You have to play with confidence. We're never going to yell at a kid for shooting the ball. We're going to tell them that they have to catch it in rhythm, and if you're in rhythm, feel free to shoot it. We just had no rhythm at all in our offense."
|Sioux Falls Washington (59)|
|Eli Auch 1 0-0 2, Austin Bertram 1 0-0 3, Ben Green 5 0-0 10, Joey Habtermariam 5 3-6 7, Matthew Hermanson 3 0-1 6, Alex Holm 4 0-0 10, Chase Lorenz 4 2-2 11, Tyler Shetterly 4 2-2 10. Totals 25 4-7 59. Three-pointers 5 (Holm 2) Rebounds 39 (Shetterly 9) Assists 23 (Habtemariam 10) Steals 10 (Hermanson 6) Blocks 1 Turnovers 13 Total Fouls 12.|
|Lee Christianson 4 0-0 9, Collin Hoover 3 0-0 6, Caleb Johnson 6 0-0 12, Austin Saugstad 2 2-4 6, Mason Schnaible 2 2-2 6, Shawn Tykwinski 0 5-6 5. Totals 17 9-12 44. Three-pointers 1 Rebounds 28 (Johnson 8) Assists 13 (Saugstad 3, Christianson 3) Steals 8 (Johnson 3) Blocks 6 (Johnson 3) Turnovers 15 Total Fouls 12.|
|Halftime Score: Sioux Falls Washington 32, Marshall 29.|
The only Tiger to show a glimpse of offensive rhythm was Lee Christianson, but it was only for a short period of time. The 6-foot-3 guard scored nine of Marshall's first 11 points, getting into the lane and rising above the defense on his jump shot. That brief burst, however, was all Christianson was able to provide offensively, as he went scoreless the rest of the game.
Wanting to play similar up-and-down style like the Tigers generally utilize, the Warriors, who feature a small lineup like Marshall, found success going to their post players in the first half. Reserve forward Ben Green had eight of his 10 points in the half and the team's tallest player, 6-5 center Tyler Shetterly, had six of his 10 points in the first half as the Warriors built a 32-29 halftime lead.
Washington point guard Joey Habtemariam did well setting up his post players and perimeter scorers against Marshall's man-to-man defense much of the night. He finished with 10 of his team's 23 assists, as well as seven points.
The well-balanced Warriors had four players reach double figures in scoring, with guard Chase Lorenz finishing with 11 points and Alex Holm scoring 10.
With a lead hovering near double digits midway through second half, the Warriors went to their zone defense and Marshall had no answers for it.
Seeing how well the Tigers had been shooting from the perimeter recently, Washington head coach Jim Trett wasn't quite sure how effective his team's zone would be.
"We came out and decided we'd go zone in the second half, and I've been reading the paper on them and they'd been hitting a lot of threes, so we knew they were at liberty to do that, but as (the game) went on, they struggled against our zone," Trett said. "They're a little bigger than us, so they could dribble into the paint and shoot over us because our guards are so little, but then we went to zone and that was really good. That was the difference."
Marshall's leading scorer, guard Caleb Johnson, tried to penetrate Washington's zone and create shots for himself and his teammates, but found little success. Johnson finished with a team-high 12 points, and he and Christianson were the only two Tigers to score more than six points in the game.
"We weren't very aggressive," Critchley said. "We had Caleb and Mason (Schnaible) looking to go to the basket and everyone else was kind of sitting around and watching. We can't do that. You can't just have two guys out there looking to score."
Marshall's scoring problems were magnified because the Tigers were one and done on most possessions. Washington out-rebounded Marshall 39-28 and held the Tigers to just three second-chance points.
Marshall will play another non-conference game Monday when the Tigers face Tracy-Milroy-Balaton in Tracy.