Marshfield boys basketball snaps Valley losing streak with win over Wisconsin Rapids
By Paul Lecker
MARSHFIELD — The losses have been piling up lately for the Marshfield boys basketball team, but its attitude toward the game has not wavered.
The continued hard work by the Tigers finally paid off Tuesday night as Marshfield led for nearly the entire game and defeated Wisconsin Rapids 49-41 in a Wisconsin Valley Conference matchup at Marshfield High School.
Marshfield defeated Wisconsin Rapids 53-43 at Rapids on Dec. 19 to move its record to 4-4 at the time. The Tigers had been searching for another Valley victory since, having only won once in their past nine games overall and dropping five in a row in conference play.
On Tuesday Marshfield trailed only once at 2-0 and used a 10-3 run over the final 3:30 of the first quarter to take a 14-7 lead and stayed in front the rest of the way.
“We played together as a team very well,” senior guard Caleb Alexander said. “We screened well, and we played great defense overall. That’s what really got us over the edge.”
Alexander scored six of his nine points in the first quarter, Jordan Schlinsog hit a pair of 3-pointers, and Adam Fravert had a rebound and basket in the final minute to put the Tigers up by seven.
Wisconsin Rapids pulled to within a point after a basket by Jayson Wiernik with two minutes to go before halftime, but a Fravert basket gave the Tigers a 20-17 lead that held until halftime.
Marshfield started the third quarter on an 11-3 run, which included a three-point play by Alexander and another hoop from Fravert.
After Rapids closed to within four, Fravert hit a 3-pointer, and Tanner Boson scored to put Marshfield up 36-27. Neither team scored for the final two minutes of the quarter, and Rapids got no closer than four points in the fourth.
Fravert, who had game-highs with 17 points and 11 rebounds, scored six points in the fourth quarter, and Marshfield held Rapids without a point over a 2½-minute stretch as it pushed the lead to 10 in the final minute.
“I’m proud of the guys because it’s very tough to hang in there and persevere when you’re 5-12,” Marshfield coach Bill Zuiker said. “They come in every day with a good attitude. I’m pleased to coach them. We’ve had a lot of downs this year, but they brought a lot of energy tonight.”
Marshfield (6-12 overall, 2-6 Wisconsin Valley Conference) hosts Merrill on Friday and will look to win two games in a row for the first time in nearly two months.
“Our goal is to get in the playoffs and make a run, just like everyone else,” Alexander said. “We just want to play good team ball, and where it goes is where it goes.”
Riley Presley had 16 points to lead Wisconsin Rapids (12-7, 5-4 WVC), but he was held to just 2-for-6 shooting in the second half as Marshfield did just enough defensively to pull out the victory.
“There were times when we could have folded a little bit because we can’t make a free throw (8-for-18), but we persevered, and that’s gratifying,” Zuiker said. “It’s really nice when the ball goes through the basket, and that does a lot for the team. Jordan Schlinsog made some, Caleb made those first couple. I thought that helped us. Their attitude has been excellent. It’s been tough, but they come every day willing to learn and ready to play.
“As an educator you try to teach kids things at this level, and perseverance is among them. They’re learning that lesson, and that’s a good thing.”
(Hub City Times Sports Reporter Paul Lecker is also the publisher of MarshfieldAreaSports.com.)
Tigers 49, Raiders 41
Wisconsin Rapids 7 10 10 14 – 41
Marshfield 14 6 16 13 – 49
WISCONSIN RAPIDS (41): Hunter Langholff 2-6 0-0 4, Riley Presley 7-12 1-2 16, Jared Halbur 1-5 0-0 2, Tom Olson 1-4 0-0 3, Ben Olson 0-3 0-2 0, Alex Bassuener 3-7 0-0 7, Jayson Wiernik 3-5 3-4 9. FG: 17-42. FT: 4-8. 3-pointers: 3-14 (T. Olson 1-2, Presley 1-4, Bassuener 1-5, Wiernik 0-1, Langholff 0-1, B. Olson 0-1). Rebounds: 23 (Wiernik 10). Turnovers: 14. Fouls: 19. Technical foul: T. Olson. Fouled out: none. Record: 12-7, 5-4 Wisconsin Valley Conference.
MARSHFIELD (49): Caleb Alexander 4-6 1-5 9, Tanner Boson 2-6 1-2 5, Kegan Fassler 0-3 2-2 2, Alec Hinson 0-1 2-3 2, Will Spindler 0-1 2-4 2, Ethan Voss 0-0 0-0 0, Jordan Schlinsog 5-9 0-0 12, Adam Fravert 8-12 0-2 17. FG: 19-38. FT: 8-18. 3-pointers: 3-10 (Schlinsog 2-3, Fravert 1-1, Boson 0-3, Hinson 0-1, Fassler 0-1). Rebounds: 24 (Fravert 11). Turnovers: 12. Fouls: 15. Fouled out: none. Record: 6-12, 2-6 Wisconsin Valley Conference.