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* Country Cousin
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* Marinette Takes Third in Waupaca; Bay Tourney Starts Thursday
* Jordan Jones Three Run Homer the Difference
* Undefeated Bulldogs Run Away With Conference Title
* Peshtigo Boys Three-peat; Dominate Running Events
* Peshtigo Boys Win Home Invite; Marinette Girls Finish Second

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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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Marines Unwrap M&M Surprise

Who says Christmas doesn’t come early?

Just ask Marinette rookie coach Nick Semenas and his hardwood troops after pulling off a 53-50 win over visiting Menominee in round one of the annual M&M clashes. The pre-holiday win lifts the Marines to a surprising 6-4 readout on the season, during a campaign in which they were predicted to be rebuilding.

Not so Friday night as point guard Austin Wright and a number of role players stepped up big time to key the victory. With scoring ace Derek Klegin being hounded every trip down the court and facing some early foul trouble, Wright twirled the twine for a season high 16 points. He had help as Ty Bebo and Marcus Maguire came off the bench to combine for 11 points and provide a big boost of hustle that enabled Marinette to rally from a 15-5 first quarter deficit.

“After the game I told the guys this was a grind it out win, but a great win. We did enough things offensively to hit our point average but the defense is where we won this game. Bebo set the tone with his all out hustle. He hasn’t played since 8th grade, watched him play at open gym and asked him to come out. It has worked out well for him and the team,” Semenas said. “Wright did a nice job taking over some of the scoring load. We know that Derek is going to have off nights or get double teamed, so we have to have other players step up. Austin did that tonight along with Maguire, Raminger, Kallestad and Boyce. This was a total team effort.”

Wright tied Klegin for team high honors with 16 points, Gage Raminger added 7 and Maguire 7. Marinette finished with a 16-35 shooting mark (46%) and 14-25 free throws (56%). Free throws nearly cost the Marines in the final 45 seconds as 5 straight misses left the door open for a possible Menominee comeback.

While Marinette enjoyed the interstate victory, Menominee coach Pete Pericolosi was disappointed after that big first quarter. “After we got up 15-5, we seemed to lose our intensity and focus. Defensively we wanted to limit Klegin’s scoring and try to shut everyone else down. We didn’t as Wright hit back-to-back threes in the third quarter that really hurt. We got outscored 16-3 in the second quarter and never recovered.”

Despite making just 6 of 21 shots (29%), Jared Rivard topped the Maroons with 19 points, Bryan Hines added 11 and Jeremy Rivard 8. Menominee connected on 19 of 59 shots (32%) and turned the ball over just 8 times.

Marinette gained a 2-0 lead on free throws by Klegin, before Menominee went on a 15-3 run. Jared Rivard supplied most of the offense with 9 points on 4 baskets and a free throw while Hines tossed in a pair of jumpers. A steal and coast-to-coast layup by Rivard put Menominee on top 15-5 (1:16) before the Marines tallied the final 5 points of the frame. Maguire found the mark on a three point shot (0:56) while Raminger snuck through the Maroon defense for a layup and a 15-10 deficit at the break.

The Marines carried that momentum into the second quarter and used a 16-3 run to take the lead for good. With Klegin getting whistled for his second foul at the 2:03 mark of period one, the Marines slowed down the pace and showed plenty of patience on offense. The end result was better looks, balanced scoring and a 26-18 lead at intermission. Wright netted two free throws and a bucket for 4 points in the second quarter, Raminger added 3 while Klegin, Kallestad and Bebo chipped in with two points each.

A jumper by Klegin along with two free throws each from Magurie and Bebo put Marinette on top 16-15 (6:29). Menominee quickly regained the upper hand when Hines hit a runner down the lane before the Marines went on a 10-0 run.

Raminger got things started with a layup and three pointer for a 21-17 edge (4:51) while a hustling Maguire grabbed a missed shot by Bebo to score for a 23-17 lead (3:41). Moments later Kallestad snuck through for a layup and Raminger added the front end of a free throw as the Marines enjoyed a 26-17 spread (1:22). The final points for Menominee came with a minute remaining as Jared Rivard hit a free throw for that 26-18 halftime score.

“That second quarter really killed us...never came back. For some reason we thought the game was in the bag. Give Marinette credit they never stopped playing,” Pericolosi said.

Menominee managed to make a “mini run” to open the third quarter as Devon Harris tallied a layup while Jared Rivard added a baseline jumper and two free throws to trim the deficit to 28-24 (5:52).

But that is when Wright went to work. The senior guard drilled clutch three point shots at the 5:30 and 4:11 marks to put the Marines back on top 34-26. Klegin later knifed his way through the Maroon defense for a layup and a 36-28 spread before Jeremy Rivard beat the buzzer with a 10-footer for a 36-30 score.

Looking to hang on for the final 8 minutes, Marinette saw the Maroons close the gap to 36-32 on a jumper by Jeremy Rivard before Klegin drilled the first of two 3’s in the final frame for a 39-32 edge. Southpaw shooting Jaden Kleinke swished a trey to get the Maroons within 4 points.

After a couple of illegal screen fouls, Wright canned two free throws and Bebo took a nifty feed from Wright for a layup and a 43-35 Marine lead with 5:25 remaining.

But the Maroons wouldn’t go away. Jared Rivard dialed in a three, which was answered by Klegin on the other end for a 46-38 score. Moments later a steal and layup by Klegin upped the Marine edge to 48-38 with 4:08 left.

This game still wasn’t over. Hines, who struggled shooting all night, converted a three point play and followed that up with two free throws (3:01). Marinette got a little lucky when Klegin grabbed an offensive rebound following his own miss and scored to go up 50-43.

A couple of Marinette turnovers on palming the ball, five second call out of bounds and a missed layup by Raminger, enabled Menominee to creep within 50-47 on two free throws by Jared Rivard and a 15-footer from Kleinke with 1:11 left.

With a chance to put the game away, Marinette’s misfortunes continued as Klegin and Maguire missed two free throws each at the 0:45 and 0:27 marks. But Menominee couldn’t get any closer as forced shots only drew iron.

Wright finally sealed the win hitting 3 of 4 free throws in the final 21 seconds before Menominee got a late trey from Harris with 0.9 ticks left for the final score.

“Menominee had a great defensive plan, but our other guys stepped up big. We had a chance to put the game away down the stretch, but missed those free throws. Can not have that many turnovers and missed throws at crunch time and be successful,” Semenas sad. “We now have 2 weeks off until our next game, so I’ll let the boys enjoy this win.”

Marinette will host Luxemburg-Casco on January 3 while Menominee (2-3) takes part in the 4-team Wrightstown tournament Dec. 27 and 28.

Marinette won the jayvee game 56-29 while Menominee prevailed in the frosh outing 45-35.


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