By Paul Lecker
MARSHFIELD — Marshfield and Eau Claire Memorial matched each other blow for blow throughout Monday’s game in the Wisconsin Valley-Big Rivers Challenge at The Boson Company Fieldhouse at Marshfield High School.
Neither team led by more than five points. Each time one team would make a run, the other would counter.
In the end, the Old Abes made just enough free throws and one final defensive stop to top the Tigers 57-55 in double overtime. It is the second double-overtime loss for Marshfield this season.
Marshfield (4-5) scored four points in the final 30 seconds of the first extra period to tie the game at 51-51 and send it into a second OT.
Memorial (4-3) made 4 of 8 free throws in the second overtime, and Jordan Schlinsog missed two free throws with 3.4 seconds left that could have tied it for the Tigers. The rebound ended up in a jump-ball situation with Marshfield earning the possession arrow with 1.2 seconds to go. After a timeout Marshfield inbounded the ball in traffic and never gained control as the final buzzer sounded.
The much shorter Tigers were able to combat Memorial’s lineup that had four starters between 6-foot-4 and 6-foot-7 and actually held a 26-25 rebounding advantage.
“We were trying to double in the post and rotate so they couldn’t kick it back out, and we did a decent job,” Marshfield coach Bill Zuiker said. “We fouled (6-7 Gianni) Rossato early, and he makes his free throws (6-for-6 in the first half), but we didn’t really let him get going. (6-7 David) Schnack never really killed us either.”
Marshfield led 10-8 after the first quarter thanks to a 3-pointer from Tanner Boson in the final seconds.
The Tigers pulled ahead 18-15 after a 3-pointer by Alec Hinson but did not score over the final 2:12 of the half, and Memorial finished on an 8-0 run to take a 23-18 lead at the break.
Marshfield had a run of 7-0 to start the third quarter as Will Spindler hit on a pair of baskets only to see Memorial respond again with five-straight.
After another 6-0 run by the Tigers, Memorial scored the final five points to take a 33-31 lead heading into the fourth.
The lead changed hands three more times in the final period. Hinson made one of two free throws with 39 seconds to go to put Marshfield up 43-41, but an offensive rebound and basket by Rossato, who led the Old Abes with 17 points, tied it with 15 seconds left. Adam Fravert’s 3-point attempt from the top of the key missed at the buzzer, sending the game to overtime.
Marshfield trailed the entire first overtime, falling behind 51-47 on a basket by Rossato with 45 seconds to go.
Spindler, who had a team-high 16 points, scored inside for the Tigers, and after two missed free throws, Schlinsog drove the lane and scored just before the buzzer to put the game into a second overtime.
Marshfield committed three turnovers in the second OT and—despite the Old Abes missing on four of eight shots at the line—could not pull even after Memorial scored the first four points of the period.
“Our turnovers were really the difference, and quick shots when we had a lead down the stretch in regulation were just as bad as a turnover,” Zuiker said. “There were bad decisions by kids at times, and those are things you kick yourself over. I told the kids that there are a million places to put the blame, but it doesn’t do any good. We have to play again tomorrow.
“It’s midseason and playing back-to-back. This is what you have to do in regionals if you’re lucky enough to win the first one. So this is what we have to do to prepare. You have to have a short memory, and we’ve been able to do that so far this season.”
Marshfield will play Chippewa Falls (4-2) at 7:45 p.m. Tuesday as the WVC-BRC Challenge continues. The game will be broadcast on WDLB-AM 1450 and wdlbwosq.com.
(Hub City Times Sports Reporter Paul Lecker is also the publisher of MarshfieldAreaSports.com.)
Old Abes 57, Tigers 55 (2 OT)
Eau Claire Memorial 8 15 10 10 8 6 – 57
Marshfield 10 8 13 12 8 4 – 55
EAU CLAIRE MEMORIAL (57): David Schnack 2-8 6-9 10, Isaac Appleby 6-13 0-0 14, Karl Buttel 0-1 3-4 3, Jordan Wilson 0-1 1-2 1, Connor Severson 2-4 0-2 4, Reece Meier 2-2 0-0 5, Chance Meier 0-2 3-6 3, Gianni Rossato 5-12 7-8 17. FG: 17-43. FT: 20-31. 3-pointers: 3-8 (Appleby 2-3, R. Meier 1-1, Severson 0-1, Rossato 0-3). Rebounds: 25 (Schnack 5, Rossato 5). Turnovers: 18. Fouls: 20. Fouled out: Severson. Record: 4-3.
MARSHFIELD (55): Caleb Alexander 1-2 0-0 2, Tanner Boson 3-8 2-2 11, Derek Coffren 1-1 1-2 3, Zach Shortess 0-1 0-0 0, Tyson Slade 0-0 0-0 0, Kegan Fassler 1-4 0-0 2, Alec Hinson 2-3 1-2 7, Isaac Huettl 0-0 0-0 0, Will Spindler 6-9 4-6 16, Ethan Voss 0-0 0-0 0, Jordan Schlinsog 3-3 0-2 8, Adam Fravert 3-16 0-0 6. FG: 20-47. FT: 8-14. 3-pointers: 7-21 (Boson 3-8, Hinson 2-3, Schlinsog 2-2, Fravert 0-7, Shortess 0-1). Rebounds: 26 (Fravert 9). Turnovers: 18. Fouls: 25. Fouled out: Spindler. Record: 4-5.