By Paul Lecker
MARSHFIELD – The Marshfield boys basketball team is finding ways to finish off games and it is paying off in the Wisconsin Valley Conference.
The Tigers finished the game on a 10-2 run during the final 3½ minutes to best Wausau West 50-41 on Friday night at the Chips Hamburgers Fieldhouse at Marshfield High School.
Marshfield (5-3 overall) moves into a tie for first place in the Wisconsin Valley Conference at 4-0 with Stevens Point, and the two teams will meet Jan. 14 at Marshfield.
“Tonight was really the first game where we had to make a lot of plays down the stretch to win,” Marshfield coach Chris Fischer said. “We almost blew it (last week) against D.C. Everest by not making those plays and tonight we made every one of them.”
The game was tight throughout, with both teams holding four-point leads in the first half. A 3-pointer from Carson Kvernen and a basket by Gavin Fravert helped the Tigers take an 18-17 lead into halftime as both teams struggled to shoot the ball.
The game was tied at four different points in the second half as both teams went through a stretch of turnovers, but started cooking shooting the ball.
A 3-pointer from Fravert gave Marshfield the lead at 31-30 with 8:21 to go and it would lead the rest of the way, but the Warriors weren’t about to go away.
West stayed within 1-3 points for the next several minutes. A basket by Jack Berens, who finished with a team-high 14 points, brought the Warriors to within one at 40-39 with 4:06 to go before Marshfield went on its run to finish off the victory.
Baskets by Luke LeMoine and Kvernen, who had a game-high 17 points, and four free throws by Chase Hinson resulted in an 8-0 run to push the Tigers’ lead to nine in the final minute.
West ended the run on a basket from Brett Butalla, but Brooks Hinson made a pair of free throws to finish off the victory for Marshfield. Brooks Hinson finished with 13 points.
“Everybody played well and everybody took their turns in making plays,” Fischer said. “Marcus Perkins in the first half, when baskets were at a premium, he got himself in the paint area and made a couple of nice jump shots. Owen Hanson, his first game back tonight trying to get his legs underneath himself, he’s going to be a nice weapon that we haven’t had all year. Carston Freis, he maybe doesn’t show up in the stat book, but he can defend and he’s physical. Chase, Brooks, Gavin, Carson, that’s what we want, all five guys on the floor playing well. They all kind of take turns.”
Both teams will be off until next Friday. West will play at Wisconsin Rapids and Marshfield will host Stevens Point as part of the girls-boys doubleheader. The girls game starts at 6:30 p.m. with the boys to follow. Both Marshfield-Point games will be live at zaleskisports.com.
Tigers 50, Warriors 41
Wausau West 17 24 - 41
Marshfield 18 32 - 50
WAUSAU WEST (41): Beckett Teske 0-2 0-0 0, Braedon Kapitz 0-0 0-2 0, Jaraul Walker 0-3 0-0 0, Will Matteson 3-6 0-0 9, Jack Berens 5-10 4-4 14, Brett Butalla 2-4 2-2 6, Cole Nelson 3-8 1-1 8, Daniel Allen 2-3 0-0 4, Vince Hanz 0-0 0-0 0. FG: 15-36. FT: 7-9. 3-pointers: 4-15 (Matteson 3-6, Nelson 1-6, Berens 0-1, Teske 0-1, Walker 0-1). Rebounds: 17 (Walker 7). Turnovers: 14. Fouls: 14. Fouled out: Matteson. Record: 6-5, 1-2 Wisconsin Valley Conference.
MARSHFIELD (50): Marcus Perkins 2-2 0-0 4, Chase Hinson 0-6 4-4 4, Gavin Fravert 3-9 0-0 8, Carson Kvernen 7-10 2-2 17, Luke LeMoine 2-4 0-1 4, Brooks Hinson 4-8 4-4 13, Owen Hanson 0-0 0-0 0, Carston Freis 0-1 0-0 0. FG: 18-40. FT: 10-11. 3-pointers: 4-18 (Fravert 2-7, Kvernen 1-2, B. Hinson 1-3, Freis 0-1, C. Hinson 0-5). Rebounds: 23 (Fravert 7). Turnovers: 9. Fouls: 11. Fouled out: none. Record: 5-3, 4-0 Wisconsin Valley Conference.