The Marshall boys' basketball team scouted its first-round playoff opponent by taking the court with and playing the New Ulm Eagles Friday, and in their dress rehearsal for the Section 2AAA tournament, the Tigers were dominant.
Third-ranked Marshall held New Ulm to just 10 second-half points as the Tigers rolled to a 71-31 victory. They have won 14 straight games to close out the regular season.
Marshall (24-2 overall) will face New Ulm (5-21) again on Tuesday when the second-seeded Tigers play host to the seventh-seeded Eagles at 7 p.m. in the first round of the Section 2AAA tournament. Head coach Travis Carroll said it was nice getting to see a glimpse of what his team will be up against.
"I think that was better for our team to know what's coming rather than to play an unknown opponent," Carroll said. "Our guys still know that they have to play at a high level when we play them again because nothing carries over."
Carroll said Marshall started slow, but picked up its offense as the half progressed and went into the locker room up 40-21. Ball movement was key to the Tigers finding their groove offensively. The team shot 69.2 percent from the field in the first half.
"As a team we finished with 24 assists, that's a really good number for us," Carroll said. "We were sharing the ball really well with each other and it was really fun to watch."
Aaron Mathiowetz 4 1-6 10, Bryce Johnson 1 1-2 3, Carl Douglas 1 0-0 2, Hunter Peterson 2 3-3 7, Austin Saugstad 3 2-4 8, Drew Hmielewski 1 0-0 2, Derek Buysse 5 0-2 10, Riley Sharbono 3 0-0 7, Tanner Bukowski 5 1-1 12, Adam Kovash 0 1-2 1, Zach Drum 1 0-0 2, Spencer Petrich 3 1-3 7. Totals 29 10-25 71. 3-pointers 3 Rebounds 45 (Buysse 5) Assists 24 (Mathiowetz 4, Buysse 4) Steals 13 (Peterson 3, Saugstad 3) Blocks 1 Turnovers 11.
New Ulm (31)
Blake Piotter 1 0-0 2, Chris Mulder 1 3-4 6, Riley Drahota 1 0-0 2, Jackson Yackley 4 0-0 10, Tanner Kluis 1 0-2 2, Aaron Stark 1 0-0 3, Grant Kannegiesser 1 2-3 4, Tyler Dittrich 1 0-0 2. Totals 11 5-11 31. 3-pointers 4 Rebounds 32 (Kannegiesser 7) Assists 4 Steals 8 Blocks 1 Turnovers 17 Total Fouls 19.
Halftime Score: Marshall 40, New Ulm 21.
Along with their high assists total, the Tigers also owned the glass. They finished the game with a 45-32 edge on the boards.
New Ulm is a team that likes to attack the rim and get a lot of dribble penetration, Carroll said. It worked to a degree in the first half, but Marshall shut the Eagles down in the second half by holding them to just 10 points.
Aaron Mathiowetz and Derek Buysse each had 10 points and four assists for the Tigers. Tanner Bukowski added 12 points, while Spencer Petrich added seven points and six rebounds. Carroll said up and down the roster, many of his players finished with three to four assists on the night.
Marshall shot 54.7 percent from the field for the game while holding New Ulm to just 20.7 percent. The Eagles shot just 16.6 percent in the second half.
Jackson Yackley scored 10 points to lead the Eagles. No other New Ulm player scored more than six.
About the only negative for the Tigers in the game was their free throw shooting. They made just 10 of 25 attempts.