Whether it was from behind the three-point line or in the paint, the Marathon Red Raiders were too much for the Amherst boys’ basketball team.
“They’re a very good team,” coach Gregg Jensen said after watching the Red Raiders hand the Falcons a 59-41 loss Thursday, March 10, in a Division 4 sectional semifinal at Wausau East High School.
“They didn’t get to a sectional final the last two years because they don’t have players or athletes,” he said. “They have very good athletes. They have an outstanding player in (Cody) Hanke and they have some nice people around him.”
After coming up one win short the past two seasons, Marathon is heading to state after beating Oshkosh Lourdes in a sectional final Saturday, March 12.
Marathon scored the game’s first nine points and Amherst never got closer than eight points the rest of the way. The Red Raiders led 16-8 after one quarter, 24-12 at halftime and 39-27 after three quarters.
“We had guys who played scared and you can’t play scared,” Jensen said. “When you’re intimated, it’s nothing but trouble. We said we can’t throw over the top. The first turnover was over the top and the second turnover was over the top. We talked all week along and all year long about utilizing the bounce pass.
“That’s what great teams do, they’ll get you to play their game,” he said. “If you’re mentally tough, you don’t let that happen. Tonight, we weren’t mentally tough. The part about being intimidated was a biggie.”
Jordan Lutz led Amherst with 14 points, while Hanke led all scorers with 20.
Amherst finished at 22-3.