Mariners' range downs Agates
Silver Bay senior Jason Blood scored a game-high 18 points in the Mariners' 67-51 win over Two Harbors Monday in Silver Bay.
Silver Bay jumped out to a 19-6 lead early in the first half and looked to put the Agates away before the break, but Two Harbors responded by out scoring the Mariners 19-13 over the final 10 minutes of the half and went into the locker room down just seven points.
In the second half, the Mariners got hot from behind the 3-point arc and extended their lead to 23 points with about 10 minutes to play. Mason Ollman, Weston Monson and Riley Tiboni combined to hit seven three pointers in the second half and end the Agate bid for an upset.
The Mariner defense also did a good job containing Agate leading scorer Jayden Ruberg, limiting the junior to just six points in the game. Every time Ruberg touched the ball, an extra Mariner defender switched over, forcing Ruberg to take a difficult shot or pass back out to the top of the key.
Without Ruberg's production, the Agate offense struggled to score and endured extended scoring droughts, particularly in the second half.
Silver Bay is playing as healthy as its been since before the Christmas break and Tiboni, in particular, has given the Mariners a fourth scoring option and relieved some of the pressure on Blood, Ollman and Monson to carry the offense. Tiboni missed several weeks with a sprained ankle, but has been a solid offensive threat, especially from long range, since returning to the court.
Two Harbors junior Joey Marker scored 17 points and hit three 3-pointers to lead the Agates.
Two Harbors has had another tough season, but Marker and fellow junior Carson Wenger, who had 11 points against Silver Bay, have shown significant progress and will form a potent core on a veteran Agate squad next season. Two Harbors will play Esko at 7 p.m. Friday in Two Harbors.
Silver Bay (14-9) will see how it stacks up against Section 7A leading Wrenshall, when the Wrens head to Silver Bay for a game at 6:30 p.m. Friday.
Two Harbors 25-26—51
Silver Bay 32-35—67
Two Harbors — Thatcher Sunday 9, Joey Marker 17, Carson Wenger 11, Ricky Brenna 8, Jayden Ruberg 6. Totals 21 6-11 51.
3-point goals — Marker 3.
Silver Bay — Jason Blood 18, Mason Ollman 16, Matt Fegon 1, Riley Tiboni 12, Jared DeHart 3, James Nopola 6, Weston Monson 11. Totals 25 6-9 67.
3-point goals — Blood 2, Ollman 4, Tiboni 2, Monson 3.