Sharpshooting Redmen: Marquette boys sink 8 triples in 66-44 win over Gladstone

Gladstone senior guard and Northern Michigan University commit Reece Castor, right, checks out his options while Marquette’s Ethan Martysz, front left, and teammate Marius Grazulis look to defend in a high school boys basketball game played at Marquette Senior High School on Tuesday night. (Journal photo by Ryan Spitza)

“Every time we tried to mount a comeback, (Marquette) dropped another 3-ball.” — Dane Quigley, head coach, Gladstone

——————

MARQUETTE — Monday’s ice storm was a memorable one that turned the Upper Peninsula into a skating rink almost anywhere you went.

Some of that ice seemed to transfer into the veins of the Marquette Senior High School boys varsity basketball team on Tuesday.

The sharpshooting Redmen used a strong perimeter performance as they went 8 of 13 beyond the arc to defeat Gladstone 66-44 at the MSHS Barb Crill Gymnasium.

Sitting at No. 2 in this week’s Upper Peninsula Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association Divisions 1-3 basketball poll, the Redmen improved to 12-3 on the season while No. 3 Gladstone dropped to 9-6.

MSHS head coach Brad Nelson said a slow start with his team down 12-11 after one quarter quickly turned around with 3-point shooting and open looks.

“I thought the first few minutes of the game, we were kind of sluggish and didn’t have a high energy level,” he said. “I told the guys if they play with a high level of energy on the defensive end, you just play more confident. I thought we stepped into our shots and had high-percentage looks.

“In the second half, we settled a few times on 3-balls and I told them at halftime that they’re (Gladstone) going to try and chase us off of the 3-point line and they did. Overall the effort of everybody on the team was outstanding.”

Nelson added that containing Gladstone senior guard and Northern Michigan University commit Reece Castor was a key part in trying to earn a win.

“You’ve got to keep him in front of you,” he said. “Anytime he gets below the free-throw line, he’s dangerous and you’ve got to be careful of that. That was part of the game plan and it was also about knowing where other guys are, knowing who can shoot and get a hand in their face. I thought we did a pretty good job of that and we contained them fairly well for the entire game.”

It’s the second time the Braves have fallen to Marquette this season, with the Redmen taking a 61-47 victory on Dec. 11 at Gladstone.

GHS head coach Dane Quigley said his team had no answers for Marquette’s offense as the Redmen extended the lead anytime the Braves closed the gap.

“(Marquette) came out right away and hit a 3 in the second half,” he said. “Every time we tried to mount a comeback, they dropped another 3-ball. I thought we started off well and had a good defensive effort in the first half.

“Obviously we had some lapses in their hot shooting which kind of really tore us a part. (Marquette) had a 24-point second quarter so that was kind of hard to overcome.”

Quigley added that he’s happy with the way his team bent but never broke, making it a closer game in the fourth quarter.

“I think there’s positives,” he said. “We did a nice job of holding it together and taking it to within 10 points toward the end. Our guys didn’t give up, we kept our composure, made a nice little run and that was just the way it goes. We fought hard and that’s a really good Marquette team right there.”

The game began with a Gladstone corner triple from senior guard Quinn Downey nearly two minutes into the game. Marquette senior guard Raffy Millado responded to that with a corner 3 of his own.

To start the second quarter, the Redmen pulled ahead 13-12 on a jumper from senior guard Bryce Brazeau, using six second-quarter 3s to build a big lead.

Two of those 3-pointers were consecutive baskets, the first coming from senior center Marius Grazulis. After a quick stop on the defensive end, senior guard Ethan Martysz went down the floor and drained a 3 of his own, making the game 26-14.

Martysz added another 3-pointer out of a Gladstone timeout, while junior forward Luke Ogea had two triples to end the half to put the Redmen up 35-22.

MSHS extended the lead after three quarters to 50-35. The Braves opened up the fourth with the first five points to make it 50-40, which is as close as they came.

Martysz led all scorers with 16 points, hitting four triples. Ogea and Grazulis each added 13 for Marquette while Brazeau had 12.

Castor finished with 13 for Gladstone while Downey had 12 and senior forward Jared Crow eight.

Marquette shot 21 of 48 overall and 13 of 17 from the free throw line. The Redmen grabbed 27 rebounds with Grazulis getting 12.

Shooting and rebounding stats for Gladstone weren’t available.

Now 12-3, the Redmen now head into their third Great Northern Conference contest in four games, visiting Escanaba (7-6) on Thursday.

MSHS junior forward John Thomson said confidence is the key to keeping the season rolling with six games left before playoffs.

“It’s all about a lot of hard work in practice,” he said. “We need to keep hustling and not let anything get to our heads. We’ve got to stay confident but at the same time we can’t get too cocky.”

Gladstone visits Kingsford (8-6) on Thursday.

Marquette won the JV game 74-57.

Email Ryan Spitza at sports@miningjournal.net.