No. 1 Marquette holds back Kingsford, 60-49


Sports Editor

KINGSFORD – Kingsford, unable to match-up against 6-foot-7 A.J. Grazulis, fell behind early and could never completely recover in a 60-49 Great Northern Conference boys basketball loss to Marquette here Thursday evening.

“I’m proud of the way they came out and fought in the second half,” Kingsford head coach Dan Olkkonen said. “You’ve got to give credit to Marquette. They have players. It’s hard to teach 6-7.”

Grazulis scored 15 points in the first half, as the Redmen opened a 12-point halftime lead. He finished with 19 points and a game-best 11 rebounds.

“We’ve been after him to get a little more aggressive on the glass,” Marquette coach Brad Nelson said. “He’s a beast, a big kid. That’s the type of play we need from him.”

Kingsford’s deficit grew to 16 points early in the second half, but the Flivvers adjusted defensively and worked it back down to a six-point game as Caleb Harrington got hot.

Harrington poured in 16 of his game-high 21 after about the midway point of the third quarter.

A 13-3 run through the meat of a physical third quarter had the Flivvers back in the game. Aidan Wienke, who scored 15 in a solid all-around effort, nailed a triple to make it 41-35 Redmen with three minutes to go in the frame. But consecutive threes by Brad Brow quickly spoiled that effort.

“He’s being doing that all year long,” Nelson said. “That’s his M.O. Every game in clutch situations when we need a shot, he’s the one that comes up and makes it. And that takes a lot of guts.”

“That’s what happens when you play a good team,” Olkkonen said. “You can’t be too upset. They beat us. It wasn’t for a lack of effort out there.

“They have a lot of talent,” Olkkonen said. “Hats off to them. They had a good game plan, they forced us into some spots with turnovers.”

Kingsford threatened again late, as Harrington drilled a three and produced a 8-0 run of his own to make it 56-49 Marquette with about a minute and half to play.

Harrington fired another trey over two defenders to try to make it a four-point game, but the shot rimmed out. And the Redmen made good on their free throws the rest of the way, Andrew Nyquist and Larry Burnette each burying a pair.

Marquette, after a slow start at the line, finished 20-of-28 at the stripe.

Marquette improved to 9-1, 4-0 in league play. Mark Pap added 10 points, and Nyquist finished with nine.

Kingsford slipped to 7-3 (2-2).

“This was a good test for us,” Olkkonen said. “That’s what we like.”

Marquette won the jayvee game 56-49, while Kingsford prevailed in freshmen action 51-27.

Marquette11 21 15 13 – 60

Kingsford 8 12 18 11 – 49

MARQUETTE: Grazulis 19, Pap 10, Nyquist 9, Brow 8, Brazeau 8, Burnette 6. FT: 20-28. F: 15.

KINGSFORD: Harrington 21, Wienke 15, Michaud 6, Jennings 4, Schaut 3. FT: 7-11. F: 20.

FG shooting – M: 19-34 (3-pt: 2-8); K: 18-40 (3-pt: 6-14). 3-pt FGs – M: Brow (2); K: Harrington (3), Wienke (2), Schaut. Rebounding – M: 26 (Grazulis 11); K: 17 (Wienke 6).