Jays basketball downs the Evergreens
By Jared Schmeltzer
On Friday night the Merrill boys basketball team hosted conference foe D.C. Everest. The Evergreens would hold the lead for nearly the entire first half of play, however a huge second half from Chase Bonnell and Michael Casper boosted the Jays to a 20 point victory.
In the first half of the game Everest was in control, taking an early lead on the Jays and then countering every Merrill score with a score of their own to take a six point lead into the half. Quinn Steckbauer’s 11 first half points led the Jays who were outscored 31-37 in the half. Kordell Renken scored seven points in the half, Bonnell scored seven and Casper scored six.
“Our guys did a great job of making adjustments at the half, and trusting the game plan,” comments Merrill head coach Jake Schalow. “We settled into a rhythm offensively, which all stemmed from the defensive end where we got stops.”
During the first eight minutes of the second half it was more trading baskets for Everest as they continued to hold their lead. Later in the half the Merrill offense would explode and their defense would come alive as the Jays went on to score 49 points and hold Everest to just 23.
“Offensively, to get three players to score over 20 points shows great balance from our team, which is what we strive for,” adds coach Schalow. “I thought Chase Bonnell had a huge run where he got to the rim three straight possessions and scored on tough finishes, which helped us create a lead halfway through the second half.”
Bonnell would lead the Jays in scoring with 22 points to go along with seven rebounds, two assists, three steals and two blocks. Steckbauer finished his night with 21 points, seven rebounds, five assists and two steals. Casper scored 20 points in the game with five rebounds, two assists, and four steals.
The Jays will be back in action on Friday as they host the Wausau East Lumberjacks in another conference match up, starting at 7:15 p.m.