Too hot to handle

MARSHALL – Overwhelming with its energy and scorching from the field, the Marshall boys’ basketball team ran Jackson County Central off the court in the first half and coasted to an 86-63 win Tuesday in Southwest Conference action at Marshall High School.

The Tigers got off to a furious start and were up 13-3 just over three minutes into the game after a reverse layup by Austin Saugstad. Their pressure defense wreaked havoc on the JCC ball handlers and the lead ballooned to 32-10 midway through the half and to 57-25 by halftime.

Marshall (13-2 overall, 7-0 SWC) shot 23 of 40 from the field (57.5 percent) in the half and held the Huskies (9-7, 3-5) to 13 fewer shot attempts and 33.3 percent shooting.

Whether it was their transition layups, pull-up jumpers or shots from beyond the arc, there were stretches in the half where it felt like the Tigers just couldn’t miss.

“They enjoy playing at home and they came out tonight ready to go,” Marshall head coach Travis Carroll said.

“They shared the ball well with each other, too. We weren’t just dribbling down and shooting it, we were sharing with our teammates and creating opportunities for our teammates, which was good to see.”

Marshall senior forward Aaron Mathiowetz scored 15 of his 19 points in the first half, connecting on a pair of 3-pointers. He also facilitated the offense with some great passes to cutters and finished with five of the team’s 22 assists to go along with a team-high eight rebounds.

Mathiowetz found Sharbono cutting to the rim on multiple occasions. The junior guard finished with a game-high 22 points, 15 of which came in the first half.

JCC came into the game with a winning record and was hoping to perform better than it did when the two teams met Dec. 18 (an 80-50 Marshall win), but the Huskies were buried by the Marshall’s barrage of buckets in the first half and stood no chance after the Tigers’ initial run that never really slowed down until they decided it was time to turn down the tempo in the final two minutes before halftime.

“We were trying to pick the tempo up in the game because Jackson is the type of team where playing at a fast pace may not be something that they want to do game in and game out, so we did some things to try to pick up the tempo a little bit,” Carroll said.

The Tigers had a massive 52-27 rebounding edge when the teams met in December. It wasn’t quite as pronounced Tuesday, but Marshall still managed to control the boards in the rematch and out-rebounded the Huskies 39-32.

“We had a strong emphasis on rebounding coming into this game,” Carroll said. “Jackson’s a very physical team and we knew it was going to be a challenge to rebound with them and our guys answered that challenge in the game. We did a pretty good job rebounding on both ends of the floor.”

Playing against Marshall’s reserves, Austin Hinckledey scored the game’s final eight points and led the Huskies in scoring with 16 points. Jon Harmening added 13 points and Taylor Christopher scored 12.

Marshall’s rotation players saw limited minutes in the second half. Senior guard Hunter Peterson had 13 points in 17 minutes for Marshall, while Derek Buysse and Austin Saugstad each scored eight points. Saugstad also added five assists and three steals.

The Tigers cross state lines for their next game when they take on Sioux Falls Washington (S.D.) Thursday. The Warriors are 4-8 on the season.

JCC (63)

Taylor Christopher 2 8-8 12, Shadrack Wacker 1 0-0 2, Josh Thaemiltz 1 0-0 2, Austin Hinkeldey 7 1-3 16, Jon Harmening 6 1-2 13, Brady Place 1 0-0 2, Matt Schmit 3 0-0 6, Nolan Hoenstein 3 1-2 7. Totals 24 11-15 61. 3-pointers 2 Rebounds 32 (Harmening 6) Assists 8 Steals 6 Blocks 2 Turnovers 22 Total Fouls 11.

Marshall (86)

Aaron Mathiowetz 7 3-4 19, C.D. Douglas 1 0-0 2, Hunter Peterson 6 0-1 13, Connor Winkelman 2 0-0 4, Austin Saugstad 3 2-2 8, Derek Buysse 3 0-0 8, Riley Sharbono 10 1-1 22, Tanner Bukowski 1 4-4 6, Adam Kovash 1 0-0 2, Abdi Amin 1 0-0 2. Totals 35 10-12 86. 3-pointers 6 (Buysse 2, Mathiowetz 2) Rebounds 39 (Mathiowetz 8) Assists 22 (Mathiowetz 5, Saugstad 5, Bukowski 3, Peterson 3) Steals 12 (Bukowski 3, Winkelman 3, Saugstad 3) Blocks 2 Turnovers 19 Total Fouls 18.

Halftime Score: Marshall 57, JCC 25.