Marauders win Battle of the Point Branches
MARSHFIELD – The UWSP at Marshfield Marauders got off to a quick start at home against the UWSP at Wausau Huskies on Jan. 29 and never relinquished the lead.
The Marauders used a very fast paced tempo to set the tone from the tip off and scored several fast break layups to build a 10 point lead before the Huskies new what hit them.
“Last time we play them at their gym, they controlled the tempo and beat us up and down the court,” said Head Coach Jared Ystad. “This time coming out we knew we had to control the tempo of the game and make them try to catch up to us”.
This was a game you could tell from the beginning the Marauder players were not willing to lose. The Huskies were able to call timeout and continue to fight back. Unfortunately for them, every time they tried to mount a comeback in the first half, the Marauders were able to push the ball up and get a fast break layup to regain control of the game. The Marauders took a 42-35 lead into half time.
Coming out of the half, the Marauders looked exactly like the same team in the first half. Pushing the tempo and several fast break points had the Huskies reeling.
“At half time we knew we had to stay composed. I didn’t feel like I didn’t have a very productive first half and as a team we missed several opportunities to add to our lead”, said sophomore guard Ethan Posteluk (Marshfield). “We were frustrated at the missed chances and were a getting after each other in the locker room, but talked it out instead of letting it escalate. That gave us a renewed energy coming out. Everybody knew we could win the game, it was all about staying focused”.
Focused the Marauders were.
“You could see a look of determination on their faces coming out of half”, said Coach Ystad. “The leaders on this team were not going to let the team lose this game. This was a game that Jack (Bezlyk) wanted all year. There was a sour taste from losing the first time around, and you could tell he was not going to allow his team to lose again”.
The Marauders got a good mix of outside shooting and an inside power game to keep the Huskies off balance. When the Huskies would sink in on defense, the Marauders would kick out and hit a three. If they stayed out on shooters, Jack Bezlyk (Spencer) and Joe Fields (Obama SCTE) would go to work down low.
Just when you thought the Marauders were about the close the game out, the Huskies made a big run sparked by hot outside shooting by Huskies Guard Austin Frick. In the blink of an eye the Huskies clawed back to make it an 89-86 game with 1:51 left in the game.
With all the momentum leaning towards the Huskies, the Marauders needed a big basket. That is exactly what they got from Joey Miller (Columbus). On a perfect kick out pass from Colton Wright (Auburndale), Miller knocked down the open three to push the lead back to six. A stop and a rebound by Bezlyk led to a pass ahead to a streaking Posteluk for an easy layup and gave the Marauders some more breathing room.
Wright was able to knock down some free throws to ice the game and the Marauders came away with a 97-87 win.
Colton Wright led all scorers with 23 points on the night. Bezlyk had his own big game with 21 points of his own. Posteluk added 19 points; Fields added 18 points and Joey Miller chipped in with 16 of his own points.