Marshall boys basketball opens season with 72-52 victory against Hutchinson
MARSHALL — It took nearly two months — and thanks to Mother Nature — a couple of extra days, but the Marshall boys basketball team finally took the floor. And they made it worth it.
Marshall built a double-digit halftime lead against Hutchinson and never looked back, cruising to a 72-52 victory Saturday in the season opener.
Marshall coach Travis Carroll said they were happy to finally have the opportunity to get on the floor and play and felt they did a good job of competing against a tough opponent like Hutchinson.
“We’re so excited for the kids to have an opportunity to play. We knew this was going to be a game where we would do some things well and we would do some things not so well, but I think what we’ve gone through the last 10 months, the things that don’t go so well as players and coaches those are things we’re ready to make adjustments and have our kids have an opportunity to play,” Carroll said. “We thought our kids played hard and competed; Hutchinson’s got a very good basketball team, they were very physical and very athletic and our kids did a good job of playing against a very good basketball team.”
It was tight to start, with Hutchinson holding a slim 5-4 lead in the game’s opening minutes but Bryce Lance got a pair of baskets to go to put Marshall back in front at 8-5 with 15 minutes left in the first half. Both teams then traded points over the next several possessions, but Marshall continued to hold onto its advantage, as a Charlie Jacobson jumper made it 16-10 with 11 minutes left in the frame.
Hutchinson battled back, though, getting a couple of free throws before a layup on the next trip down the floor cut the deficit to just three at 18-15 with 7:45 to go in the half. That’s when Marshall’s defense showed its strength, only allowing four Hutchinson points the rest of the first half. Meanwhile, MHS got a 3-pointer before Jack Bly and Lance connected on back-to-back baskets to push Marshall’s lead to double digits and ultimately a 30-19 lead going into the locker rooms.
Carroll said they had to make an adjustment defensively midway through the first half and felt his players did a good job of responding to the challenge down the stretch.
“They made a really nice run on us in the middle of the first half, they got it to 21-17 and offensively we were having some struggles. We talked to the kids about having to lock in on the defensive end of the floor and getting some stops and our kids did a good job of communicating and limiting them to one shot,” Carroll said. “We also did a good job on transition defense and not allowing a lot of open looks in transition.”
Marshall came out firing on all cylinders to begin the second half, going on a 9-2 run before a 3-pointer by Josh Baker made it 42-23 with 12:45 left. The two sides continued to trade points, but Marshall kept Hutchinson at bay with at least a 16-point advantage for the next several minutes. Lance made two free throws to put Marshall up 21 at 56-35 with 8:21 left, and MHS maintained at least a 16-point lead the rest of the way en route to the 72-52 victory.
Lance led Marshall with 19 points while Baker and Bly each added 12 and Brevin Runia had 10. Runia led in rebounds with eight while Chase Douglas led in assists with four. As a team, Marshall shot 46.6% (27 of 58) from the field, including 5 of 12 from 3-point range.
Defensively, Marshall held Hutchinson to 40.5% shooting (15 of 37), including just 28.6% from 3-point range (4 of 14).
Marshall (1-0) will face Windom Area on Tuesday at 7:15 p.m. Carroll said he was pleased they were able to come away with the win, but knows they have a lot of things to improve on going into the next game.
“We’ve got a lot to work on. We struggled at times defending personnel,” Carroll said. “We need to do a little better job against pressure, their press definitely had us on our heels and as coaches we need to do a better job of coaching our kids up with getting ready to handle the press. It’s good to see things like this on a day like today and still be able to get the win and know there are some glaring things we need to work on moving forward.”
Marshall 72, Hutchinson 52
Hutchinson 19 33 – 52
Marshall 30 42 – 72
Scoring: Marshall (Lance 7-11, 5-8 19; Baker 4-14, 2-4 12; Bly 5-7, 2-2 12; Runia 3-3, 3-3 10; Jacobson 3-6, 0-0 6; Douglas 2-8, 0-0 5; Leibfried 2-4, 0-0 5; Werner 1-5, 1-2 3).
Rebounds: Marshall 34 (Runia 8; Werner, Baker 6; Jacobson 4).
Assists: Marshall 11 (Douglas 4; Jacobson, Lance 2).
Steals: Marshall 19 (Lance 6; Baker 5; Douglas 2).
Blocks: Marshall 5 (Baker 2; Kuecker, Leibfried, Werner 1).