Wear down the weary: Lincoln Sager leads Marquette boys basketball team to 59-35 win vs. Gladstone at end of Braves’ busy stretch
“We kind of wanted to wear them down with pressure. I thought we were able to do that.” — Brad Nelson, Marquette boys basketball coach, on playing Gladstone at end of 4-games-in-6-days stretch
GLADSTONE — It was a rough night for the Gladstone Braves (4-6) as they lost 59-35 to the Marquette Redmen (6-2) Tuesday during a high school boys basketball game played in Gladstone.
“I’m super proud of my guys’ rebound from Friday,” Marquette coach Brad Nelson said. “We won by 15 up in Kingsford and I was probably the most disappointed I’d been in a team in 10 years. We addressed it in film and had a good film session (Monday).
“The effort was there and I thought we took a big step forward (Tuesday). Hopefully, we don’t go backwards and we keep building on the win.”
Kameron Karp got things going for Marquette with a triple, followed by a two, about 1:30 into the game. He totaled 12 points for the Redmen.
Gladstone pulled to within a point later in the opening period. A 3 from Cam Ballard made it 9-8, but Marquette struck right back with two shots from Jordan DeMay to make it 14-8.
By the end of the first, Marquette led 17-11, and for the rest of the game the Redmen continued to pull away.
Marquette had Gladstone covered pretty well on defense, holding the Braves to 35 points.
Nelson mentioned Ballard, Rane Castor and Lucas Hughes as major players for the Braves that his team adjusted well in their defense.
“(Gladstone has) got players buried all over the court you have to be aware of,” he said. “But knowing they played (Monday) night in a tough game against Iron Mountain, we kind of wanted to wear them down with pressure. I thought we were able to do that.”
Lincoln Sager scored 17 points — including four 3-point shots — to lead MSHS in scoring. Teammate Ty Lotterman added 16 points.
Nelson also gave a nod to Connor Johnson’s performance in the second quarter. He hit two 3s after coming off the bench for the Redmen when they found themselves in foul trouble.
For the Braves, it was the last game of a tough stretch. Gladstone coach Mike Cretens said his team is in good shape despite the arduous stretch.
“We’ve played really tough games Thursday, Friday, Monday and Tuesday,” he said. “The last three were against the top three teams in the (Upper Peninsula). So we’ve played the gauntlet. But they’re holding in there. We just got a lot of things we need to fix.”
Gladstone now has six days off before its next game. According to Cretens, the Braves will use the time to remedy their issues.
“Hopefully by next week when we have some games again, we will be better offensively,” he said. “We need more guys to be confident on the offensive end…. I need everyone out on the court to be confident enough to score.”
The Braves, especially Lucas Hughes, showed much more aggression in the final quarter than they had all game.
“Lucas Hughes was outstanding in the hustle he gave us at the end (Tuesday),” Cretens said. “I’m trying to get that out of the rest of our guys, but we just don’t have it…. We have to be better as a team and we have to have that energy and want to go get that ball and not give up in the middle of the game.”
Ballard put up 17 for the Braves with four triples to lead them in scoring.
Marquette — which also won the JV game 47-43 — hosts Sault Ste. Marie Thursday, while the Braves next play Monday against the Modeltowners in Gwinn.