Bluejay boys break even on the road
On Tuesday evening, Dec. 15, the Bluejay Boys Basketball squad hit the road again, this time northbound for Minocqua and a non-conference face-off with the Lakeland Union Thunderbirds.
The Jays paced the ‘Birds from the start, putting up 33 points in the first and followed suit with 45 in the second, en route to a convincing 78-62 win.
Nathan Woller led Merrill in scoring with 39 points on the night (12/21 FG, 13/15 FT, 2/8 3-pt, 9 reb, 2 ast, 3 stl), followed by Isaac Sutton with 14 (6/7 FG, 2/6 FT, 8 reb, 2 ast, 3 stl.) Jake Zelinski added another 12 points on the night (3/11 FG, 4/6 FT, 2/8 3-pt, 3 reb, 2 stl.)
“We played with much more energy last night at Lakeland, compared to our energy in an empty gym at SPASH. It was a nice bounce back win,” comments head coach Troy Pieper.
“(Nathan) Woller was unstoppable. He’s a better three-point shooter than he’s shown so far, but his ankle still isn’t quite 100%. If he shoots like he normally does he would have scored 50. Bailey Turrene had a nice stat line as well. Even though he didn’t score like he can, he still added eight boards, five assists, and played very solid defense.”
“It was also nice to have Jake Zelinski back in the lineup. He adds another dimension to our team with his length, athleticism, and ability to shoot it. It’s just another difficult matchup for opposing teams, he played solid for his first game of the year.”
MRL 33 45- 78
LHS 27 35- 62
Outgunned at SPASH
Tuesday, Dec. 8, the guys headed to Stevens Point for a conference showdown with the WVC powerhouse Panthers. Unfortunately, the Jays would come up short after trailing throughout the game; 75-55.
Woller once again led the charge for the ‘Jays in scoring, cashing in 17 points on the evening (6/11 FG, 5/7 FT, 7 reb, 2 ast, stl), followed by Turenne with 13 (5/9 FG, 3/7 3/7 3-pt, 5 reb, 2 stl) and Trenton Lokemoen with 10 points, repectively, (3/6 FG, 1/3 3-pt, 3/4 FT, reb, ast.)
“It was an odd atmosphere to say the least, with Point not allowing any spectators at all. It was very odd, and our energy sort of reflected that,| Pieper adds.
“We were flat coming out to start the game especially on defense. We started ok on offense and forced them to switch to a zone. We were expecting a zone from them and had worked on what we would do when they go to a zone, but we just didn’t execute very well and had some lazy passes that resulted in easy baskets for them. We had a stretch where we allowed them to go on a 14-0 run toward the end of the first half and that put us in a big hole at the half. I thought Bailey Turrene played well tonight, he was a little more aggressive on the offensive side of things which was nice to see. Trent Lokemoen I thought had another nice game coming off a good game in our opener, he’s getting more and more confident every day.”
MRL 25 30- 55
SPT 45 30- 75
End of December games postponed
On Thursday, Dec. 17, Coach Pieper confirmed that the Boys Basketball Team has been quarantined. As a result, all games through the end of the year will be postponed and made up at a later date.