Marshall boys’ basketball team wins 9th straight

The Marshall boys’ basketball team continued its perfect season against South Dakota schools by edging Watertown 67-62 Tuesday night in a non-conference game in Watertown, S.D.

The Tigers are 4-0 against teams from South Dakota this year, including a win over top-ranked and previously-unbeaten Sioux Falls Roosevelt last Friday. Watertown is fifth in South Dakota’s Class AA standings.

Watertown led 60-55 with two minutes, 10 seconds remaining before Marshall got back-to-back 3-point plays by Aaron Mathiowetz and Derek Buysse. Tiger guard Austin Saugstad added a basket and Riley Sharbono hit four free throws in the final 1:34 to seal the victory in what was a tight game throughout.

The games against South Dakota teams don’t count when it comes to section seeding for the Tigers, but head coach Travis Carroll said they no doubt help his squad.

“It’s important to play these South Dakota schools because they’re the type of teams we’ll play in the section tournament,” said Carroll, whose team has won nine straight and is now 20-2 overall. “The games are always tough and physical, and our guys have responded well in that type of environment. It’s only going to help us come tournament time.”

The Tigers led 18-17 after the first quarter and grabbed a 37-30 edge at halftime when Hunter Peterson hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer. The Arrows came back to grab a 51-50 lead at the end of the third quarter before Marshall made its run down the stretch.

Carroll said the Arrows have very good guards, and that showed Tuesday as Watertown committed just six turnovers. Marshall had 14 turnovers itself, but made up for it by dominating the boards. The Tigers held a 44-20 edge on the glass, with Aaron Mathiowetz leading the way with 11 rebounds.

Watertown made 10 of 25 3-point attempts in the game. Tanner Heiser made four of them and finished with a game-high 25 points.

The Tigers were led by Saugstad’s 17 points. Tanner Bukowski chipped in 14 points, while Derek Buysse and Riley Sharbono each had 10. Buysse also had seven rebounds, six of which came on the offensive end.

Ranked fourth in Class AAA, the Tigers return to Southwest Conference action Friday with a home game against Worthington.