Marotz hits shot at the buzzer for MVL

Staff photo by Steve Muscatello Minnesota Valley Lutheran’s Matthew Munsen takes a shot as Logan Ebeling of Martin County West defends on the play during the second half Friday at MVL. For more photos of this event go to cu.nujournal.com

NEW ULM — Minnesota Valley Lutheran was able to avoid overtime against Martin County West in its season opener after a buzzer-beating bucket by Jace Marotz.

The Chargers (1-0) beat the Mavericks (0-1) 60-58 in nonconference boys’ basketball action on Friday.

Tied up at 58-58, Marotz got a shot to fall as time expired after a baseline drive, sending MVL fans home happy.

“We just ran our end of the half play, end of the game play,” MVL coach Craig Morgan said of the winning shot. “Only thing is, we got through it twice. Then Jace got the ball down on the end, found a gap and a little jumper. And in it went, so that was good.”

MVL started the first half out nicely as Jake Kettner knocked in a deep 3 to bring MVL within 1, 12-11. A no-look dish from Kettner to Marotz gave the Chargers the lead soon after.

A Kettner layup that put MVL up 15-12 then forced MCW to burn a timeout with 10:31 left in the half. After a 3-pointer by Jordan Fischer and a steal and layup by Kettner, MVL ended the half up 43-30.

The Mavericks came out with more energy in the second half and caught the Chargers off guard, bringing the MCW deficit to 43-38 after an 8-0 run to begin the second half. After MCW cut its deficit to 1, 48-47, Kettner intercepted a pass and converted an and-one layup to put MVL up 51-47.

With less than five minutes to play, MCW took a 58-53 lead on a 3 by Dawson Weber, who had 17 points on the night, and a bucket from Cole Owens. After a pair of Mason Cox free throws and a late Matt Munsen steal and layup, MVL tied things up at 58-58.

That allowed the Chargers the opportunity to convert the game-winner and walk off with the narrow win.

Kettner led MVL with 15 points, seven assists, five rebounds and two steals, while Fischer added 11 points. Also for the Chargers, Cox added 10 points, while Marotz had 7.

Morgan said that his team needs to come out with the same intensity in the second half that it did in the first half, but he was still proud of how the team responded down the stretch.

“We have to realize that when we come out in the second half, we’ve got to come out with the same intensity we come out the game with,” Morgan said. “Because they were much more intense in the second half than we were. But it was a good test for us. We kept our poise and executed, then made our shots.”

MVL plays next at the MLC Invitational on Friday.

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