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Marshfield boys move on from tough first half
By Paul Lecker
MARSHFIELD – The Marshfield boys basketball team had a tough schedule to start the season and has been scrambling to climb back to the .500 mark ever since.
With the regular season half over, Marshfield took a 5-6 record into a game against Wausau East on Tuesday, and throughout it all, entered the game in a tie for first place in the Wisconsin Valley Conference with Merrill at 3-1.
Following a frustrating 64-61 loss at home to Rhinelander on Jan. 2, the Tigers responded with perhaps their best offensive game of the year with an 82-56 win at D.C. Everest on Jan. 5.
Seth Anderson scored 26 points and Reed Miller added 23 in the win over D.C. Everest as they combined to make 18 of 27 shots from the field, and Miller drilled 6 of 8 3-point attempts in the victory. Anderson also had nine rebounds and Miller had eight.
Despite 18 turnovers, Marshfield was able to roll to the victory by shooting 65 percent (28 of 43) from the field and 11 of 17 3-pointers.
Isaac Meverden added 15 points and four assists, which included three 3-pointers, for the Tigers.
Anderson, a senior forward, had a career-high 31 points in the loss to Rhinelander, and has been a consistent force throughout the season for the Tigers.
Anderson is averaging 22 points per game, scoring 25 points or more in five of the Tigers’ last six games. He also had 30 in a win over Merrill on Dec. 19.
A 4 ½-minute stretch early in the second half doomed Marshfield against Rhinelander.
After starting the second half on a 7-0 run to open up a nine-point lead, the Tigers turned the ball over four times in five possessions and Rhinelander ripped off 16 points in a row on its way to the victory.
Owen White, a Michigan Tech recruit, scored 10 of his 28 points during the run that eventually ended when Miller scored with 9:46 to go for Marshfield.
“I’m not surprised,” Marshfield coach Scott Scheuer said. “We’ve seen White for four years and they do such a great job of getting him in a position to score. When you have a 6-foot-6 kid that can shoot, you have to defend.”
The Tigers pulled to within three on two free throws by Anderson, and got it down to 58-56 on a 3-pointer from Brant Bohman with 1:00 remaining.
Rhinelander pushed the lead back to 62-56 on two free throws by Reese Flores and a basket from Brad Quade, before Anderson hit two more free throws and Miller drilled a 3-pointer from the left corner with 23 seconds left to bring Marshfield to within a point.
After two free throws by Quade, Marshfield had a final chance to tie it with a 3-pointer, but couldn’t get an open attempt and Miller’s desperation shot at the buzzer fell short.
Marshfield had 19 turnovers, 12 in the second half, and was just 6 of 12 at the free throw line in the final 6 minutes.
“Turnovers and free throws, at every and any level, will make or break you,” Scheuer said. “We made a few adjustments on my part, and I probably shouldn’t have. They called a timeout, so sometimes as a coach you think, ‘Maybe I need to make an adjustment,’ and I didn’t need to. We were doing fine.
“I always tell the guys that, obviously they need to make improvements and clean some things up, but so do I. I self-assess a lot, and hopefully not only will they improve, but so will I and let them play.”