Overtime thriller launches Bulldog boys into 3-0 week

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Freshman Zach Driscoll hit double digits in all three of MFL MarMac’s wins last week. (Photos by Audrey Posten)

Carver Blietz-Bentien, who earned two double-doubles last week, has been a strong defensive presence for the Bulldogs.

Parker Kuehl attempts a shot in MFL MarMac's win over NFV on Jan. 7.

Wyatt Powell blows past a TigerHawk defender in last week's game. He scored 10 points.

Kaden Stocker tallied 17 points against NFV. Fifteen of those came from three-point range, where he made five of seven shots.

Cullen McShane attempts a three pointer against the TigerHawks.

Hunter Meyer, recovered from an injury, saw some minutes for the Bulldogs last week.

By Audrey Posten, Times-Register


The MFL MarMac boys basketball team continued to win in exciting fashion last week, outlasting conference rival Clayton Ridge in overtime before taking down North Fayette Valley and Crestwood.


Sophomore Wyatt Powell sent the Jan. 4 contest against the Eagles into overtime with a game tying free throw with three seconds remaining in regulation. The Bulldogs then went on a 14-8 run to clinch the 68-62 victory.


The teams were neck and neck early, with Clayton Ridge claiming a 9-5 first quarter lead, but MFL MarMac dropped 24 points in the next period and took a 29-23 advantage into halftime. The Bulldogs were clinging to a 40-36 lead after the third quarter when the Eagles went on a 19-14 run that left the teams knotted 54-54.


Clayton Ridge shot slightly better from the field than the Bulldogs, at 38.9 percent versus 36.4. MFL MarMac doubled their opponents from three-point range, however, making six of 21 attempts. They also made it to the free throw line six more times, going 22-28, and snagged 34 rebounds to the Eagles’ 28. MFL MarMac turned the ball over three fewer times as well.


Zach Driscoll scored an impressive 26 points—14 of which came in the fourth quarter and overtime—and made four of the Bulldogs’ six shots from behind the arc. He also picked up six rebounds, three assists and two steals. Kaden Stocker added 19 points, seven rebounds, two steals, an assist and a block, while Carver Blietz-Bentien finished with a double-double of 11 points and 11 rebounds, in addition to three assists, two steals and a block. Powell’s stat line included eight points, four steals, three assists and three rebounds.


MFL MarMac kept the momentum going in its Jan. 7 game against NFV, with a more leisurely 73-52 victory. The Bulldogs led just 17-16 through the first quarter, but began to pull away in the second, going up 39-31 by halftime. A 19-6 third period run put the game away.


The Bulldogs upped their shooting percentage to nearly 41 percent in this match-up, and also hit 11 of 29 threes. The team’s pesky defense kept the TigerHawks off balance with 13 steals.


With 18 points and 10 rebounds, Blietz-Bentien put up his second double-double of the week. He also picked up four steals and two assists. Stocker was nearly perfect from behind the arc, sinking five of seven shots for 15 of his 17 points, and grabbed two rebounds. Powell finished the night with 10 points, four steals, four assists and three rebounds, while Driscoll notched 10 points and two each in the rebounds, steals and assists columns.


MFL MarMac wrapped up the week Jan. 8, with a 65-49 win over Crestwood at Upper Iowa University. The Bulldogs got off to an uncharacteristically slow start, trailing 33-26 at halftime. They out-scored the Cadets 21-9 in the third period, however, building a 47-42 advantage. It was a lead the team wouldn’t relinquish, holding Crestwood to just seven fourth quarter points while launching 18 of their own.


The Bulldogs’ field goal percentage continued to improve, rising to nearly 47 percent, and they hit another 11 three pointers. Driscoll led the way with 16 points, six rebounds, four assists and two steals. Cullen McShane’s stat line included 15 points—nine of which were from behind the arc—along with three rebounds, two assists, a steal and a block. Blietz-Bentien was close to another double-double, with 14 points and eight rebounds, and also had two assists and two steals. Powell had 14 points as well, in addition to four rebounds, four assists, three steals and a block.


The wins improved MFL MarMac’s overall record to 9-1 and Upper Iowa Conference mark to 7-0. The team will try to earn its eighth straight victory at Decorah (8-1) on Jan. 10, before facing Turkey Valley (5-4) on Jan. 11.

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