BOYS BASKETBALL: Tiger seniors proved to be solid leaders this year

MINNEAPOLIS – With Marshall suffering a 77-72 loss at the hands of Orono in the Class 3A state tournament, it brought an end to the high school careers of the Tigers’ four seniors: CD Douglas, Riley Sharbono, Bryce Johnson and Zach Drum.

As a group, Marshall coach Travis Carroll felt his seniors brought invaluable assets to the team.

“Our seniors did a great job of keeping the team together this year,” Carroll said. “We graduated a lot of guys last year and brought in a lot of new faces. The seniors gathered them up and told them this is what we need to do to get the job done. They knew what it took every day and they were great leaders for us.”

Marshall graduated seven from last year’s squad that also reached the state tournament, including four starters.

This year, Sharbono and Douglas provided the bulk of the teams scoring that was built on getting steals and rebounds and beating opponents down the court on the break while Johnson and Drum contributed valuable minutes off the bench.

All will walk away with fond memories of playing with their teammates as well as for coach Travis Carroll.

“It’s been a really great experience playing for coach Carroll,” Sharbono said. “He knows what he’s doing and it shows with back to back trips to the state tournament. You would have wanted to end it on a win, but it was fun playing out there. There aren’t any other teammates I would have rather played with. They are great and the younger guys coming up have a lot ahead of them.”

It’s not just his knowledge of the game that makes Carroll a coach the players want to compete for, it’s also his personality off the court.

For as great of a coach as he is, they know he’s an even better person.

“He’s a great guy on and off the court,” Johnson said. “If you ever have anything going on off the court, you know you can go in and talk to him. He’s always going to be there to help you out. It makes you want to play hard every day.”

Marshall has been one of the more undersized teams all year, but they have found other ways to get them this far, dominating most of the teams in the Southwest Conference en route to a section championship.

Quickness and athleticism has gotten the Tigers a long way.

“We relied on a lot of transition to get our baskets with easy layups,” Douglas said. “We also passed the ball around really well. “We made sure we boxed out,” Drum added. “They we just took the ball and went.”

Next year’s Tigers will feature a senior heavy lineup as Jordan Schroeder, Matt Pietz, Brent Andries, Brock Klaith, Jon Wyffels, Connor Winkleman, Noah Winkleman and Jacob Baker will make up the senior class.