VIDEO: Bluejays display depth in win over Rapids
By Jared Schmeltzer
On Friday night the Merrill boys basketball team hosted Wisconsin Rapids in a Wisconsin Valley Conference showdown. Merrill went into the half holding only a six point lead, however thanks to a big run in the second half were able to finish the game with a 74-54 win.
It was a defensive battle early on in the game with Merrill leading Rapids 18-11 with nine minutes to play in the first half, when Rapids would have to use a timeout after multiple turnover thanks to the Merrill 1-3-1 zone defense. Rapids was able to counter every Merrill run with one of their own as the Jays led 30-25 at the half.
Merrill opened up the second half going on a 13-4 run to lead Rapids 44-29 with 13 minutes to play. In that time Merrill would outscore Rapids 30-25 thanks in no small part to Piersen Pyan who scored 13 points in the half.
Merrill head coach Jake Schalow was pleased with how his team played saying, “I thought we put together a very good defensive effort, especially in the second half. We held them to six made field goals the entire second half, and when you combine that with the run we made on the offensive end, that’s how we were able to open the game up. I thought we got big contributions from juniors Connor Mootz and Piersen Pyan. Connor had six points, eight rebounds, and six assists, and Piersen had a stretch where he scored 13 points almost all consecutively in the second half.”
Other noteable performances include Quinn Steckbauer who finished the game with 19 points. Michael Casper ended his night with 14 points, Chase Bonnell had 12 points and Caleb Timm scored six.
The Jays will be in action again on Friday as they host D.C. Everest at 7:15 p.m.