MARSHALL – The Marshall Tigers went undefeated in the 2013 Fastbreak Club Holiday Tournament, capping off the action Saturday with a 70-38 win over Tracy-Milroy-Balaton at Marshall High School.

The victory marks the eighth straight for Marshall (8-2 overall). TMB drops to 4-6 this season.

The Tigers stepped up their defensive pressure in the second half, forcing the Panthers to turn the ball over and get out of rhythm.

“It was a good start to the second half,” Marshall head coach Travis Carroll said. “Our guys came out and responded after the first half. We went out and got some steals and we got some defensive rebounds and turned them into some transition points right away.”

Sparked by Riley Sharbono and C.D. Douglas, Marshall went on a 15-3 run to start the second half, giving the Tigers a 45-23 edge with 14 1/2 minutes remaining.

“We came out flat in the first half, but we worked well together, defensively, in the second half,” Sharbono said. “We gave up less than 40 points for the third straight day. So, we just have to continue to work hard on the defensive end and that’s going to win us games.”

Sharbono led all scorers with 23 points, including 17 in the second half. He also contributed a team-high eight rebounds and five assists in the contest.

“I do whatever the team needs me to do to win,” Sharbono said.

Knowing that a well-balanced team is difficult to slow down, Carroll was pleased with the contributions of all of his players. Douglas chipped in 16 points, three assists and three steals, while Jordan Schroeder added 12 points and two steals.

Reece Winkelman hauled down six boards for the Tigers, while Connor Winkelman collected seven points, four assists and two steals. Drew Hmielewski tallied six points and five rebounds. Zach Drum added four points.

“We have guys contributing in a lot of different ways,” Carroll said. “It’s not always about the points. We have guys that are rebounding well. We have guys that communicate really well. We have guys that are sharing the basketball really well. It’s a team effort. It’s not one or two guys that are getting the job done. It’s all 16 guys that we’ve got on the bench that are contributing each game.”

Sparked by Spencer Smith and Josh Kirk, who led TMB scoring with 11 points apiece, the Panthers rallied with a 9-3 run in the second half to cut the MHS lead down to 16 with 9:23 left. Smith initiated the surge with a 3-pointer, a steal and a layup and an alley-oop from Derek Larson. Kirk’s drive to the basket made it 48-32.

“We had some trouble with their press a little bit in the second half,” TMB head coach Rick Haberman said. “They were able to get so many baskets in transition. They ran the ball really well. We didn’t do as well on transition defense, so we’re going to have to get better at that. They’re a fast, fast team, so hopefully that helps us to play faster.”

Sharbono got Marshall back on track with back-to-back field goals. After Riley Kirk, TMB’s top ball-handler, went 2-for-2 at the free-throw line with 7:28 showing, Sharbono added a rebound putback to give the Tigers a 54-34 lead.

“One of our goals every time is to not give up more than eight offensive rebounds and also to have less than 10 turnovers,” Sharbono said. “We have to win the turnover battle and the rebounding battle. Those are two important stats. That gives us a lot more possessions.”

Marshall dominated the Panthers on the boards, outrebounding TMB 49-22. The Tigers also took care of the ball, committing only 10 turnovers while forcing the Panthers into turning the ball over 23 times.

“Rebounding and taking care of the ball are keys to each game and a lot of that has to do with effort,” Carroll said. “Our guys had good effort in the second half.”

After Smith scored for TMB with 6:16 left, Marshall finished out the game with a 16-2 run.

“Coming in to the game, we were worried about defending their personnel in the half court,” Carroll said. “They did some things to frustrate us in the first half, but in the second half, we did a better job of working together on defense and getting some stops.”

The Panthers jumped out to a 5-4 advantage in the first half on baskets from Smith and Larson. But the Tigers quickly built a lead. Up 18-14 with 6:25 remaining, Marshall closed out the first half with a 12-6 run, heading into the break with a 30-20 edge.

“Tracy-Milroy-Balaton did a lot of things in the first half to frustrate us,” Carroll said. “They did some things that we’re going to have to work on offensively because they did some things to definitely slow us down.”

Josh Kirk and Smith led TMB with five rebounds each, while Brett Swenhaugen had five points, Hayden Sanders four and Larson three. Brady Lanoue added a team-high five assists, while Riley Kirk and Smith each collected two steals.

“We didn’t score as much as we would have liked to in the first half, but we did a pretty good job of defending,” Haberman said. “Progressively, from the first day to the last day of the tournament, we got better, with the exception of the second half against Marshall when they pulled away from us. We definitely improved as the tournament went on and that’ll help us come together and get better.”

The Panthers, who went 0-3 in the Holiday Tournament, are back in action Friday at home against Camden Conference opponent MACCRAY.

“I see this tournament as a springboard for the rest of the season,” Haberman said. “We need to keep working hard in practice, clean up some things, rest and get ready to go.”

Marshall will get back to Southwest Conference action Friday at home, taking on rival Windom Area. While the eight-game winning streak is encouraging, Sharbono said the Tigers need to dig down even more to reach their goals this season.

“We have a lot of things we need to continue working on,” he said. “Obviously, the end goal is to go on a three-game winning streak in the section tournament and get to the state tournament. We have eight wins in a row here, so we just have to keep working.”


TRACY-MILROY-BALATON (4-6 OVERALL): Brett Swenhaugen 1-3 3-4 5, Riley Kirk 0-4 2-2 2, Josh Kirk 4-10 1-2 11, Spencer Smith 5-14 0-0 11, Brady Lanoue 1-2 0-0 2, Hayden Sanders 2-3 0-1 4, Derek Larson 1-6 0-0 3. TOTALS: 14-42 (33.3%) 6-9 (66.6%) 38.

MARSHALL (8-2 OVERALL): C.D. Douglas 6-14 4-7 16, Reece Winkleman1-4 0-2 2, Connor Winkelman 3-9 1-3 7, Drew Hmielewski 3-6 0-0 6, Riley Sharbono 10-20 3-4 23, Zach Drum 2-2 0-0 4, Jordan Schroeder 6-7 0-0 12. TOTALS: 31-67 (46.2%) 8-16 (50%) 70.

HALFTIME: Marshall 30, Tracy-Milroy-Balaton 20. 3-POINT FIELD GOALS: Tracy-Milroy-Balaton: 4-13 (Josh Kirk 2-4, Spencer Smith 1-3, Derek Larson 1-5, Brady Lanoue 0-1); Marshall 0-8 (Douglas 0-1, Sharbono 0-3, C. Winkelman 0-4). REBOUNDS: Tracy-Milroy-Balaton 22 (Smith 5, J. Kirk 5); Marshall 49 (Sharbono 8, R. Winkelman 6, Hmielewski 5). TOTAL FOULS (FOULED OUT): Tracy-Milroy-Balaton 14 (none); Marshall 13 (none). TECHNICAL FOULS: None. ASSISTS: Tracy-Milroy-Balaton 5 (Lanoue 5); Marshall 16 (Sharbono 5, C. Winkelman 4, Douglas 3). STEALS: Tracy-Milroy-Balaton 6 (Smith 2, R. Kirk 2); Marshall 13 (Douglas 3, Sharbono 2, Noah Winkelman 2, C. Winkelman 2, Schroeder 2). BLOCKED SHOTS: Tracy-Milroy-Balaton 4 (Smith 3, Larson); Marshall 0. TURNOVERS: Tracy-Milroy-Balaton 23; Marshall 10.