PREP BOYS BASKETBALL: Marshall fends off Worthington, 56-47
MARSHALL — After dropping its second game of the season on Saturday, the No. 7 Marshall boys basketball team looked to press the reset button against Worthington at home on Monday. Marshall was put to the test in its second meeting with the Trojans, but was able to hold on down the stretch for a 56-47 victory.
Marshall coach Travis Carroll credited the Trojans for playing with a high level of energy after losing 73-41 last Tuesday to MHS in Worthington, but felt his team did a good job of staying resilient and playing as a group down the stretch.
“I thought that Worthington did a great job; for us to have a 32-point win last week in their gym, they were able to come out and challenge us like they did and that’s a great credit to their kids and coaches,” Carroll said. “They were definitely ready to go and they played with great energy and it felt like we weren’t able to match that effort at times throughout the game. Rebounding we got beat on the boards and that’s not a category we like to lose at and it’s something we definitely need to improve on going into our game against Luverne because rebounding is something that gives teams extra possessions and a lot of times rebounding is in that effort category. Our kids did a good job of being resilient and it was good to see our kids stick together and find a way to win the game.”
It was back and forth to start, with Marshall holding a slim 6-4 lead before a jumper by Charlie Jacobson made it 10-4 with 13:10 left in the first half, but a pair of Worthington baskets cut the deficit to two a minute later. Marshall would respond with an 8-2 run, as Brevin Runia connected on a jumper to give MHS an 18-10 lead midway through the frame, but Worthington continued to fight and drew to within four a couple of minutes later.
Once again, Marshall had a timely answer on the offensive end, this time going on a 9-0 run highlighted by two Josh Baker layups to give MHS its first double-digit advantage at 27-14 with 5:25 to go. Both teams then traded points the remainder of the half, with a layup from Bryce Lance in the closing seconds giving Marshall a 34-25 advantage at the break.
The tight play continued throughout the second half, with Worthington cutting the deficit to seven before layups from Noah Wilts and Lance put Marshall back up double digits at 42-31 with 11:26 left. Worthington wouldn’t go down without a fight, though, using a four-point play and a layup to draw to within three at 46-43 with 6:03 to go, but Marshall answered with a Jacobson layup before Baker connected on a huge 3-pointer – the only one of the game for Marshall – to make it 52-43 with four minutes left. Marshall then iced the game at the free-throw line to earn the 56-47 victory.
Carroll said at the start of the second half, they felt they weren’t attacking the basket or getting the ball into the post as much as they wanted and added they were able to make the right adjustments offensively to have an answer each time Worthington got close.
“We got to the start of the second half and probably the first five or six minutes of the half we probably took a few too many perimeter shots where we could have gotten a better look at the basket or some post touches, so that was an adjustment we made as the second half went on,” Carroll said. “We were struggling from the perimeter and it’s OK to shoot perimeter shots, we just need to do a little better job of making them inside-out shots where we make them off of the drive or the post touch. That’s something that our kids recognized and that’s something they’ll be aware of going into the next game and hopefully it’ll be something that will improve.”
Lance led Marshall with 19 points while Baker added 11 and Chase Douglas had seven. Lance led in rebounds and assists with five and four, respectively, while Baker led in blocks with three. As a team, Marshall shot 45.3% (24 of 53) from the field and made seven of its 13 free throws.
Defensively, Marshall held Worthington to 34.5% shooting (20 of 58), including two of 12 from the 3-point line and forced 15 turnovers.
Marshall (11-2) will hit the road the rest of this week, taking on Luverne today at 7:15 p.m. before facing St. Peter on Friday. Carroll said he expects the matchup against the Cardinals to be similar to Monday’s contest and they need to be ready right away.
“Going into Luverne, this is a good example of what that might look like. It might be a grind-it-out game and the first time we played Luverne they played us really well, so it’s OK for us to have a game like this [tonight] so that way we’re not surprised by it [Tuesday],” Carroll said. “Right now, we’re at zero losses in the conference and Luverne is at two losses and we have two games to go, so we have a chance to put them at three and leave us at zero and that will kind of put us in position for the conference championship game, so it’s an exciting opportunity and hopefully we can put together 36 minutes of good basketball and find a way to come out of the gym with a win.”
Marshall 56, Worthington 47
Worthington 25 22 – 47
Marshall 34 22 – 56
Scoring: Marshall (Lance 7-13, 5-6 19; Baker 5-12, 0-1 11; Douglas 3-8, 1-2 7; Jacobson 3-5, 0-0 6; Bly 2-4, 1-2 5; Wilts 2-4, 0-0 4; Runia 2-5, 0-2 4).
Rebounds: Marshall 26 (Lance 5; Baker, Douglas 4; Bly, Jacobson 3).
Assists: Marshall 12 (Lance 4; Douglas 3; Baker, Wilts 2; Runia 1).
Steals: Marshall 14 (Lance 3; Baker, Douglas, Runia, Wilts 2).
Blocks: Marshall 4 (Baker 3; Lance 1).