With a pair of Capitol Conference crossover contests, the season is officially underway for the Marshall boys’ basketball team.
The Cardinals went 1-1, dropping their opener at Lake Mills before returning home to earn the first victory of the season in their home debut against Columbus.
Lake Mills 51,
The Cardinals’ trio of Craig Ward, Tyler Chadwick and Reid Truschinski did most of the damage on Tuesday against the L-Cats, combining for 42 of Marshall’s 47 points.
Lake Mills took a slight four-point advantage into the halftime break, leading 28-24. The Cardinals kept it close the remainder of the game, but ultimately couldn’t quite pull out the victory, falling by a final score of 51-47.
"Lake Mills is a very high-quality team who was picked to win the Capitol North," said Marshall's Head Coach Dan Denniston. "We had a shot with less than five seconds to tie. I feel like with a super young team, we will learn from all these early-season situations we are put in, and hopefully that will pay dividends by the time we get to our conference season."
Ward led Marshall with 16 points, followed by Chadwick with 14 and Truschinski with 12. Bryce Frank rounded out the scoring with five points.
Three days later, Marshall played in front of a home crowd for the first time, hosting the Cardinals of Columbus on Friday.
A quicker start on Friday allowed Marshall to gain the upper hand early on against Columbus. Marshall opened up a double-digit lead in the first half; by the time halftime rolled around, the Cardinals led 37-24.
"I like the way we attacked in the first half and were able to build a 13-point halftime lead," added Denniston.
Marshall benefited from a more spread-out scoring attack, with seven players contributing to the total.
As the second half wore on, Columbus was able to prevent Marshall from pulling away, but never truly threatened to steal the victory, either. As the final horn rang, Marshall emerged with their first win of the year, defeating Columbus by a score of 63-52.
Ward led the team in scoring once again with 18 points.
"I think Craig has really done a nice job of settling into the point guard position, and he is starting to get a better feel for when to look to be aggressive offensively and when to get other people involved," said Denniston. "I think as the season goes, he is only going to get better at both, and I feel with the scoring threats we have around Craig, we are going to be a pretty balanced offensive team."
Truschinski was next with 13 points, followed by Chadwick with nine. Cole Denniston tallied eight, while Frank added six points. Austin Kilian scored two points, while Joseph Jablonski rounded out the scoring with one point.
Marshall (1-1) will return home on Friday when they take on Watertown Luther Prep. Tip time at Marshall High School is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.