Decorah snaps Bulldogs’ winning streak

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By Audrey Posten, Times-Register

 

A loss to Decorah last week snapped a seven-game winning streak for the MFL MarMac boys basketball team, but the Bulldogs simply started another streak, outlasting Turkey Valley the following night to remain unbeaten in the Upper Iowa Conference.

 

The Jan. 10 defeat at the hands of the one-loss Vikings was only MFL MarMac’s second this season. Decorah put the game out of reach early, going up 26-11 after the first quarter and building a 40-point lead by halftime. The Bulldogs out-scored the Vikings 26-15 in the third period, but couldn’t overcome the large deficit, losing 85-50.

 

Fifty points was the lowest scoring output this season for the Bulldogs, who were without starters Zach Driscoll and Wyatt Powell. The team shot 37.3 percent from the field compared to a nearly 57 percent clip from the Vikings, and hit only five of 20 three-point attempts, while Decorah was an impressive 13-23.

 

The Bulldogs also struggled to hang on to the ball, committing 17 turnovers to the Vikings’ seven.

 

With a team-high 15 points and nine rebounds, Carver Blietz-Bentien was just shy of another double-double. He finished the night with three assists and one steal as well. Cullen McShane knocked down two shots from behind the arc, for six of his eight points, and added three rebounds and an assist. Kaden Stocker’s stat line included seven points, five rebounds, two blocks and an assist, while Parker Kuehl picked up seven points, three steals, three assists and two rebounds. Hunter Meyer contributed six points, eight rebounds and a block off the bench.

 

MFL MarMac quickly got back in the win column, however, besting Turkey Valley 52-38 on Jan. 11. The Bulldogs jumped ahead 13-10 in the first quarter and upped their advantage to 30-21 by halftime. A 15-10 third period run put the game out of reach.

 

The Bulldogs improved their field goal percentage to 48.9 in this match-up, out-pacing the Trojans by over 20 percent. Although Turkey Valley took nearly 20 more free throw attempts than MFL MarMac, and snagged 21 steals to the Bulldogs’ 11, they lost the rebounding battle. MFL MarMac grabbed 36 total, including 25 on the defensive end, keeping the Trojans from key second chance points.

 

McShane led the Bulldogs with 17 points, in addition to picking up seven rebounds and three assists. Powell returned to the lineup with 13 points, and added seven rebounds and team highs with four assists and four steals. Kuehl finished the night with six points, five rebounds, two steals and an assist, while Blietz-Bentien tallied five points, nine rebounds, three steals and two assists.

 

The Bulldogs will try to make it two wins in a row Jan. 18, at South Winneshiek (8-4), followed by a home match-up with West Central (3-8) on Jan. 21.

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