PREP BOYS BASKETBALL: Key run in first half propels Marshall to 69-40 victory over Windom Area
MARSHALL — The first meeting between the No. 7 Marshall and Windom Area boys basketball teams saw Marshall cruise to an 88-35 victory on the road. The second matchup was a lot closer in the opening stages, but Marshall was able to find its rhythm with a key run in the first half and never look back in a 69-40 victory Friday.
Marshall coach Travis Carroll said he was pleased with how his team responded after their slow start to the game but felt they missed some opportunities in the second half as a group.
“It was definitely a slow start to start the game, it was a 12-9 game at one point and our guys did a great job of ending the half strong. I think we went into halftime with it 38-12, so it was great to see with us having a slower start to the game just watching our guys stick together and work through that adversity at the beginning of the game and have a really strong end to the first half that put us in a really good position at halftime,” Carroll said. “The second half, we definitely missed some opportunities to get that run like we did in the first half and those are definitely some areas to improve on as we move forward into next week.”
Marshall took an early lead, going up 8-2, but Windom Area answered with a 5-0 run to cut the deficit to just three at 12-9 with 11:07 left in the first half. In need of a spark, Marshall found it through its defensive play, as MHS held the Eagles scoreless for the next four minutes. Meanwhile, on the other end of the floor, the offense got into a groove, as a 3-pointer by Bryce Lance made it a 9-point advantage before Josh Baker connected on a triple of his own to push the lead to 24-9 with seven minutes to go in the half and cap a 12-0 run by Marshall.
A Windom layup would get the Eagles back on the board, but Marshall kept the momentum, with Lance getting a couple of 3-pointers to make it 32-11 with 3:07 left in the frame. Marshall then went on a 6-1 run to close the half and take a 38-12 lead into the locker rooms.
Carroll said their key on offense was getting into the lane and knocking down open shots, especially in the second part of the first half when Marshall went on a 26-3 run in the final 11 minutes of the frame.
“The guys were doing a good job of getting the ball near the free throw line area and when we were open, we had some guys who were able to knock down some shots and they just continued to stick with it,” Carroll said. “Windom definitely did some things defensively to try and frustrate us which is a credit to Windom and it slowed us down to where we weren’t playing our normal style of offense, but I thought our guys really adjusted well in the middle of that first half to get to halftime.”
The two teams traded points to start the second half, but Marshall continued to push the pace as Brevin Runia and Noah Wilts got layups to go to make it 50-22 with 13 minutes left. Windom Area wouldn’t go down without a fight, however, as the Eagles held Marshall scoreless for the next few minutes and cut the deficit to 24 with eight minutes to play. But Marshall responded with a run of its own, as a layup from Jack Bly pushed the advantage to 30 at 61-31 with 6:15 left before Marshall ultimately earned the 69-40 victory.
Lance led Marshall with 21 points while Baker added 12 and Bly had eight. Charlie Jacobson and Chase Douglas led in rebounds with six each while Douglas led in assists with five. As a team, Marshall shot 47.5% (28 of 59) from the field, including connecting on eight 3-pointers.
Defensively, Marshall held Windom Area to just 31% shooting (13 of 42), including 3 of 13 from 3-point range.
Marshall (9-1) will face New Ulm at home on Monday at 7:15 p.m. before taking on Worthington on the road on Tuesday at 7:15 p.m. Carroll said a couple of their key takeaways are cleaning up their transition defense after a made basket and their defense when the opponent is inbounding the ball.
“I think there were a couple of things that stood out. Our transition defense on made shots was not very good where we gave them some points in transition after we made a shot or fouled them on the other end,” Carroll said. “And then just our inbounding defense; we were struggling with some actions they were running on the inbounds where they were getting some high-percentage shots off the inbounds plays. Those don’t sound like major areas but those are definitely some areas we need to clean up moving forward into next week.”
Marshall 69, Windom Area 40
Windom Area 12 28 – 40
Marshall 38 31 – 69
Scoring: Marshall (Lance 9-13, 0-1 21; Baker 4-11, 3-3 12; Bly 4-6, 0-0 8; Douglas 2-9, 1-2 7; Runia 3-3, 0-0 7; Wilts 2-6, 0-1 5; Abdi 1-1, 1-2 3; Elton 1-1, 0-0 2; Maeyaert 1-1, 0-0 2; Paulsen 1-1, 0-0 2).
Rebounds: Marshall 31 (Jacobson, Douglas 6; Runia 4; Baker 3).
Assists: Marshall 18 (Douglas 5; Baker 4).
Steals: Marshall 13 (Baker 3; Bly, Werner, Wilts 2).
Blocks: Marshall 2 (Baker).