By Paul Lecker
The Marshfield boys basketball team went cold at the most inopportune time and Wisconsin Rapids was there to take advantage.
The Raiders outscored Marshfield 19-8 over the final 6 minutes to beat the Tigers 61-51 in a Wisconsin Valley Conference game Friday night at The Boson Company Fieldhouse at Marshfield High School.
Marshfield led 43-42 after a basket by Adam Fravert with 6:26 remaining in the game, but the Tigers missed their next four shots and committed five turnovers as Rapids went on a 9-0 run to take an eight-point lead.
Fravert’s 3-pointer ended the run for the Tigers, but they couldn’t get closer than four points from the lead as Rapids made 10 of 14 free throws during the final 1:50 to put away the victory.
“Our guys, instead of digging in and fighting, we just settled,” Marshfield coach Scott Scheuer said. “If we don’t shoot well, we’re not going to beat anybody. We had open shots, but we just couldn’t knock them down.”
Wisconsin Rapids (2-5, 1-2 Wisconsin Valley Conference) scored the game’s first nine points and led 17-9 before Marshfield scored seven straight, including a dunk by Ethan Voss, to get to within a point.
Rapids maintained its lead for the rest of the half, leading 27-24 at the break, before Marshfield forged ahead early in the second half.
Marshfield’s first 11 shots of the second half were from 3-point range and it made five, including two from Tyson Slade and one each by Alec Hinson, Fravert and Grant Michaelis, to take a 39-34 lead.
Dylan Bassuener, who led Rapids with 18 points on 9-for-13 shooting, scored on three-straight possessions to put the Raiders back in front.
Fravert’s basket two minutes later put Marshfield up 43-42, but that was the time the Tigers were ahead as Rapids scored the next nine points and led the rest of the way.
Fravert had 12 points and Hinson had 10 for the Tigers, who shot only 30 percent (17 of 57) from the field and were just 8 of 31 from 3-point range.
“We fell into that trap – we’re shooting 3s and getting them off, we’re making a few, so let’s keep shooting them,” Scheuer said. “I’m telling them to get inside, get inside, get inside. I knew it was going be a grind and Rapids was better than their record. They were physical and we struggled to even get the ball inbounds because of that physicality.”
Marshfield (3-4, 0-2 Wisconsin Valley Conference) returns to action on Dec. 29-30 at the Big Rivers-Wisconsin Valley Conference Challenge at Superior High School. The Tigers will play Menomonie on Dec. 29 and Chippewa Falls on Dec. 30 as part of the tournament. The Tigers host Merrill in their next WVC game on Jan. 8.