The Marshall boys' basketball team withstood a late second-half charge mounted by Redwood Valley and held on for a 62-56 win over the Cardinals in a key Southwest Conference game played Tuesday night in Redwood Falls.
The two teams played tight through the first half, with Marshall pulling out to a five-point lead by halftime. The Tigers had a run midway through the second half that pushed the lead up to 13 points, but the Cardinals battled back to get to within a basket in the final minutes before Marshall put the game away at the free throw line.
In the first meeting between the two teams on Dec. 11 Marshall escaped with a 69-62 home victory, and Tigers head coach Travis Carroll expected the rematch in Redwood Falls to be much the same.
"They're a very good basketball team," Carroll said of the Cardinals. "Coming into the game they had just two conference losses, so we knew it was going to be important to go into their gym and play well. They sort of had their backs against the wall needing to get a win against us to have a shot at the conference title."
The win moves Marshall, the eighth-ranked team in Class AAA, to 15-2 overall and a perfect 8-0 in conference play. Redwood Valley drops to 14-3 overall and 6-3 in the SWC.
It was another balanced scoring night for the Tigers, who had five players score eight or more points. Aaron Mathiowetz led the team in both scoring (13) and rebounding (seven). Riley Sharbono added 12 points on 4-for-5 shooting from the field, Hunter Peterson tacked on 10 points, and Austin Saugstad had eight points and a team-high five assists.
Aaron Mathiowetz 5 2-4 13, Carl Douglas 2 0-0 4, Hunter Peterson 4 1-1 10, Austin Saugstad 4 0-0 8, Derek Buysse 4 1-2 9, Riley Sharbono 4 4-5 12, Tanner Bukowski 4 4-5 12, Spencer Petrich 0 2-2 2. Totals 25 10-14 62. 3-pointers 2 Rebounds 30 (Mathiowetz 7, Buysse 5) Assists 14 (Saugstad 5) Steals 5 Blocks 1 Turnovers 11 Total Fouls 14.
Redwood Valley (56)
Taquez Perkins 2 0-1 4, Thane Widmer 3 0-1 7, Alec Koster 8 0-0 19, Joe Smith 5 0-0 14, Mitchell Ficher 2 5-8 10, RJ Juell 0 2-2 2. Totals 20 7-13 56. 3-pointers 9 (Smith 4, Koster 3) Rebounds 18 Assists 7 Steals 4 Blocks 2 Turnovers 11.
Halftime Score: Marshall 24, Redwood Valley 19.
Carroll noted that the battle of the boards was an important factor in Marshall claiming victory. The Tigers held a 30-18 edge on the glass. Marshall was also 10-for-14 from the foul line, while Redwood Valley was 7-for-13.
Redwood Valley made nine 3-pointers in the game to keep up with the Tigers. Alec Koster hit three 3-pointers and scored a game-high 19 points, while Joe Smith hit four shots from downtown and scored 14 points.
Carroll said the Cardinals' shooters were a focus for the Tigers entering the game.
"They're a pretty small lineup and they do a good job of penetrating and kicking it out to open shooters. We were focused on closing out on those shooters and kind of got away from that when they made that run there. That's something we can always improve on."
Marshall will shoot for another conference win Friday when the Tigers play host to Luverne.