Merrill Boys beat Wausau East 80 – 62
TINA L. SCOTT
The Merrill Boys Basketball team started out hot in the Jan. 19 game against Wausau East. “We really started well for the first time this year,” Coach Troy Pieper said. “Our energy on defense set the tone from the very start. It was great to see.”
The Bluejays blew the Lumberjacks away in the end, but they didn’t go down easy. With a final score of 80-62, Merrill played hard and pulled off a serious win.
Coach Pieper said: “Our offense benefited from our energy on defense. We created some easy transition points, and it really was as close to a complete game as we’ve had this year. We did have a few breakdowns here and there, and we didn’t execute our stuff at times offensively, but our energy and effort really was great, and has been the past two games.”
Merrill’s leading scorers for the game were Nathan Woller (8 FG, 1 3pt, 9 FT, 6 reb, 7 ast) with 26 total points followed by Jake Zelinski (7 FG, 4 3pt, 3 reb, 3 ast) and Isaac Sutton (5 FG, 1 3pt, 5 FT, 4 reb, 2 ast).
“Nate (Woller) is starting to get healthy, and he was in attack mode pretty much all night,” Pieper said. “It was a pleasant sight to see. He looked a lot like he did in the Lakeland game earlier in the season when he was close to 100%. He also created a lot for his teammates, as well, adding 7 assists, and was much more aggressive on the boards tonight; all around, probably his best game of the year.”
“Zelinski continues to shoot it well from the outside,” Pieper went on. “He’s been our best shooter this year, and his range is tough to guard. He’s been very consistent for us all season, and you see his confidence grow each and every game.”
“It’s nice to get to 4-2 in the Valley with back-to-back conference wins,” Coach Pieper said. “We are starting to get things going. Guys are now executing our system on defense fully, and are starting to cause some serious issues for other teams. Now we can’t let up or relax. We still have goals we want to reach, and the guys are serious about reaching those goals. We got back in the conference picture with two nice wins. That was the first part, but we can’t get satisfied; we are just starting to get things rolling a little.”
Wausau East 62