Falls beats Marines to end 28-game skid
Marinette boys held scoreless in third quarter
Tuesday, December 17, 2013 6:00 PM
MARINETTE - Oconto Falls' first boys' basketball win in nearly two years was no fluke Tuesday night.
Alex Young of Oconto Falls ties up Marinette’s Jake Holley in the second half Tuesday in the P.F. Neverman Gym.
The Panthers thoroughly outplayed the Marinette Marines for a 59-47 win. Falls snapped a 28-game losing streak which dated back to Dec. 29, 2011, when it beat Oconto 60-45.
"Could not be more proud of these kids," Falls co-head coach Kirk Hirst said. "They worked their butts off and they deserve this."
With little more to lose, the Panthers shook up their lineup and threw the kitchen sink at the Marines - a collage of man-to-man, zone and gimmick defenses.
"We changed a lot of stuff in this game," Hirst said. "The kids bought in, and they realized as a team what they could accomplish."
After falling behind 8-1, Marinette fought an uphill battle all night.
"I just thought we came out with absolutely no intensity at all," Marinette coach Nick Semenas said. "Just compared to the bar we have set."
Junior Taylor Starzynski provided 10 points off the bench in the second quarter to briefly ignite the Marines. Zach DeLong's 3-pointer with 36 seconds in the half tied the game at 28-28.
By the time the Marines scored again, Falls had a 42-30 lead. Marinette missed all 10 of its field goal attempts in a scoreless third quarter.
Bo Shroyer hit all four of his free throws, and Riley Gruetzmacher provided a free throw, a bucket and a steal for Falls in the third quarter. Gruetzmacher scored a team-high 12 points.
A recurring fault - settling for 3-point attempts - surfaced for the Marines. They were eight of 18 from two-point range but sank just eight of 30 3-pointers.
"The problem with us hitting shots sometimes is it leads to a false sense of security," Semenas said. "Their defensive scheme really threw off our offense."
Marinette cut the Falls lead to nine twice in the fourth quarter, but the Panthers made 13 of 19 free throws down the stretch. Overall, Falls was 23 for 34 from the foul line.
Falls improved to 1-4 while Marinette fell to 1-5.
Starzynski led the Marines with 13 points and Marcus Maguire added nine.
"Forty seven points should be enough to win," Semenas said. "The problem is giving up 60."
The Marine junior varsity won 62-50. Blayne Smejkal led the Marines with 15 points. Daquota Skenandore and Madison Semrau added 12 apiece and Nathan Paris scored 11.
Noah Miller scored 12 for the Marine freshmen in a 62-36 win. Tyler Teske, Kevin Charlesworth and Kyle Klumb added seven apiece, and Riley Thill hit a bucket.
OCONTO FALLS (59) - Johnson 6, Fiedler 3, Salscheider 10, Shroyer 4, Woosmann 2, Kowalczyk 5, Young 10, Gruetzmacher 12, Fifield 7. FGs: 16-42; FTs: 23-24
MARINETTE (47) - Malone 0, Maguire 9, Holley 6, Waloway 5, Starzynski 13, Klumb 3, Richmond 1, Greenlund 0, DeLong 7, Beland 0, Eatherton 3. FGs: 16-47; FTs: 7-12
Oconto Falls 13 17 9 2 0 - 59
Marinette 11 17 0 1 9 - 47