By Paul Lecker
MARSHFIELD — The Marshfield boys basketball team’s agonizing season continued Thursday with another close loss.
The Tigers came back from a seven-point deficit to tie the game late in the fourth quarter but came up just short again, losing to Wausau West 44-43 in its Wisconsin Valley Conference and regular-season finale at Marshfield High School.
Marshfield lost for the fourth-straight time, all coming by three points or less, to finish the regular season with a 6-16 record. Ten of the Tigers’ losses this season have come by single digits.
“You’ve got to make baskets,” Marshfield coach Bill Zuiker said. “We had a lot of chances. We only turned it over two times, so we had chances. I’m pleased because we have been giving away opportunities to score in previous games. We got shots, but we have to make them.
“Everyone is packing the lane and packing inside the 3-point circle, and the only way to loosen them is to knock some of those down. I was trying to run different kids in there to try to find someone to knock a shot down. We had a few but not enough and not when the game was really in the balance.”
A 3-pointer from Tanner Boson, who led the Tigers with eight points, was Marshfield’s only points over the final 7:30 of the third quarter as the Tigers’ four-point lead turned into a six-point deficit.
Taylor Penn hit back-to-back 3-pointers around Boson’s 3, pushing West (12-10, 5-7 Wisconsin Valley Conference) to a 33-27 lead after three quarters.
West went up 38-31 after a basket by Carson Weber with 6:30 to go in the fourth, and neither team scored for four minutes until Marshfield started to make a run.
Tyson Slade made a 3-pointer for Marshfield, and after a steal and dunk by West’s Jacob Raeder, Alex Hinson and Boson made 3-pointers to tie the game at 40-40 with 1:32 remaining.
West made just four of 10 free throws over the final 1:42, but Marshfield could not take advantage.
The Tigers missed three-straight shots before Hinson hit another 3-pointer with 3.5 seconds to go.
After two missed free throws by West with 2.1 seconds to go, an inadvertent whistle from one of the officials caused some chaos. In the end the referees ruled that West had possession when the whistle blew. West was able to run out the final second to preserve the win.
“The ref said they had possession, and there was an inadvertent whistle, but I didn’t think there was possession at that time,” Zuiker said. “I thought it should have been an alternating possession (situation), and it would have been our basketball. I got overruled.”
Marshfield’s focus turns to the playoffs. The Tigers open with a WIAA Division 1 regional semifinal at Chippewa Falls (13-9) on Friday, March 6.
Chippewa Falls defeated Marshfield 64-48 on Dec. 30 at Marshfield. The Cardinals have went just 4-7 to finish the season, giving the Tigers hope for an upset.
“Chippewa is going to play defense exactly like West did tonight,” Zuiker said. “West beat Chippewa by 18 points. Chippewa lost the other night by 20. … They are a good team—don’t get me wrong—they whipped our tails at Christmas time, but we can compete. We’re excited about the chance to keep going.”
(Hub City Times Sports Reporter Paul Lecker is also the publisher of MarshfieldAreaSports.com.)
Warriors 44, Tigers 43
Wausau West 11 9 13 11 – 44
Marshfield 12 10 5 16 – 43
WAUSAU WEST (44): Kyle Nickel 2-3 1-4 5, Morqurius Sykes 2-3 0-0 4, Carson Weber 3-3 0-0 6, David Seamon 0-0 0-0 0, Jacob Raeder 2-5 0-2 4, Jakob Tordsen 3-6 5-6 12, Taylor Penn 5-14 0-1 13, Tommy Borta 0-0 0-0 0. FG: 17-34. FT: 6-13. 3-pointers: 4-10 (Penn 3-6, Tordsen 1-2, Raeder 0-2). Rebounds: 29 (Penn 10). Turnovers: 12. Fouls: 8. Fouled out: none. Record: 12-10, 5-7 Wisconsin Valley Conference.
MARSHFIELD (43): Caleb Alexander 3-5 0-2 7, Tanner Boson 3-12 0-0 8, Derek Coffren 3-4 0-0 6, Zach Shortess 1-2 0-0 2, Tyson Slade 1-4 0-0 3, Kegan Fassler 0-0 0-0 0, Alec Hinson 2-4 0-1 6, Will Spindler 3-4 0-0 6, Ethan Voss 0-3 0-0 0, Jordan Schlinsog 1-5 0-0 3, Adam Fravert 1-5 0-0 2. FG: 18-48. FT: 0-3. 3-pointers: 7-23 (Boson 2-5, Hinson 2-4, Slade 1-3, Schlinsog 1-3, Alexander 1-2, Coffren 0-1, Shortess 0-1, Voss 0-2, Fravert 0-2). Rebounds: 18 (Fravert 6). Turnovers: 2. Fouls: 17. Fouled out: Alexander. Record: 6-16, 2-10 Wisconsin Valley Conference.