Merrill Boys Basketball Team wins against Wausau West in first WVC game
TINA L. SCOTT
On Friday, Dec. 9, 2022, the Merrill Boys Basketball Team traveled to Wausau West High School to take on the Warriors on the court.
“We got down early 19-11 mostly, I think, because we weren’t executing on the defensive side of things,” Merrill Boys Basketball Head Coach Troy Pieper said. “However, after a quick timeout, I think the guys really got refocused on that end, and we went on a nice run, closing out the half on a 16-11 run to pull within 3 at the break.”
“We mixed things up a little in the second half and came out in a 2-3 Zone that really caused West some issues, I thought, and we came out and went on a nice run with the help of a few three’s from Bradyn (Pieper),” he said.
“Once Bradyn hit those three’s early in the half, it really opened things up for Troy (Mootz), as they stopped helping off of Bradyn when Troy would drive, and Troy is one of the best at getting to the rim and finishing,” Pieper said, “so once his defender was no longer getting much help, Troy had his way for a good stretch in the second half.”
“For the third straight game, we had a different combination of players to reach double figures,” he said. “Each game having three guys in double figures is a positive thing, and then to have a different combination of three guys to reach that in each game is pretty impressive and speaks to the balance and depth we have this year.”
“Troy (Mootz) (25 points) and Bradyn (Pieper) (17 points) led us in scoring, and our third player in double figures was Sophomore EJ Weix with 12,” Pieper said.
“I thought EJ played awesome,” he added. “He’s been working his way back to full strength after missing some time from being sick, but tonight you could see that he’s back. He looked aggressive and confident all night. He was huge for us tonight.”
“I also liked the way Carter Baade played on the defensive side of things, and while battling a little foul trouble to stay mentally in the game and stay locked in says a lot, and he hit a big three down the stretch that pretty much put the game on ice,” Pieper said.
“It was nice to start the conference season with a nice road win. There are no easy games in the Wisconsin Valley Conference (WVC), and to open the conference season on the road and come out with a win is a positive.”
Merrill 68 @ Wausau West 61