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Jaguars squeeze by Mavericks in showcase game

TIED UP — Truman/Martin Luther/Granada-Huntley-East Chain’s Cayden Fischer (on floor) and Martin County West’s Wyatt Geistfeld (right) battle for possession of the basketball during Monday night’s Valley Conference Showcase game in Trimont. The Jaguars’ Cael Jaskulke (13), the Mavericks’ Mitch Weber and official Tom Bromeland observe the action. (Photo by Greg Abel)

TRIMONT — After being held to four points in the first 10 minutes, the Jaguars stormed back.

Truman/Martin Luther/Granada-Huntley-East Chain beat the Martin County West Mavericks 46-41 during both teams’ first Valley Conference Showcase matchup Monday night in Trimont.

The Mavericks started the game strong, going ahead 15-4 more than midway through the opening half.

Tanner Sinn got the scoring started for the Mavericks with a drive into the post, Angel Reyes hit a trifecta from the left corner before Wyatt Geistfeld followed with a 3 from the right wing. Reyes hit a free throw before Sinn made a putback shot and drove through two defenders.

Mitch Weber finished the run with a baseline leaner at the 8:20 mark of the opening period.

Owen Wolter used a Matt Heckman assist for 2 off the opening tip, then Cayden Fischer hit a deep 2 off a Wolter assist with 10:15 left for the Jaguars’ only points before the 7:30 mark.

The Jaguars, however, went on a 20-4 run to close out the first half.

Adam Heckman used a Cael Jaskulke post-entry pass for a layup to end the Jaguar drought, then followed with a free throw before hitting a 3 from the right corner. Matt Heckman used a Carter Spear assist for a right-corner 3 to close the gap to 15-13 with five minutes remaining.

Geistfeld scored to end a Maverick five-minute scoreless streak, then Adam Heckman collected a post lob pass from Jaskulke to bring the Jaguar deficit back to 2. Derek Dunlop used a Zach Anderson assist to put the Mavericks ahead four, then Adam Heckman hit two free throws to close the gap once again, before nailing a 3 from the top of the key to put the Jaguars ahead for the first time in 16 minutes, 20-19, with 1:20 left.

Fischer made a mid-range jumper off a Matt Heckman assist, then Spear stole a pass with 15 seconds left and drove for a layup to send the Jaguars into the break up 24-19.

Jaguar head coach Adam Walker said his team took a few minutes to get into the game.

“I think we woke up,” Walker said of his team’s late first-half run. “We had a very emotional win Saturday night over Nicollet. … I don’t like to use that as an excuse, but an 11-2 score to start the game and we didn’t hit the rim on anything other than the opening layup. We’ve got to come out faster, but that’s a very good team we played and they do that to teams.”

The game grew more physical in the second half and the defenses picked up, allowing a combined five points in the first five minutes.

The Jaguars pulled out to a nine-point advantage on a Wolter 3 from the left corner with 12:50 left, then Fischer hit a free throw to give the Jaguars their biggest lead of the night at 31-21.

Maverick head coach Cliff Anderson said MCW didn’t adjust well to the physical play in the second half.

“That’s what playoff basketball is about,” Anderson said. “You’ve got to adjust yourself to physical play. They were more physical than us tonight and we didn’t step up in that regard.”

Trailing 33-23, a Maverick 8-1 run closed the gap in the next three minutes. The Mavericks got within three, but never retook the lead.

“I thought our effort was tremendous,” Cliff Anderson said. “To hold a team to 46 points, you should be able to win a ball game. Give them (Jaguars) credit for their defense. Offensively, we just didn’t do what we needed to do. We were too quick on some shots and we didn’t really attack the basket until the very end. Give them a lot of credit, we knew it was going to be a good game.”

Adam Heckman produced a double-double of 17 points and 13 rebounds for the Jaguars, while the Mavericks’ Geistfeld reached a double-double with 10 points and 12 boards.

Matt Heckman scored eight points and dished out five assists for the Jaguars, while Spear and Fischer had eight rebounds each, with Fischer adding eight points. Wolter scored nine points, that included two clutch 3s in the second half.

Reyes had nine points and three steals for the Mavericks, while Zach Anderson and Sinn each had eight points, with Sinn adding six rebounds and Anderson bringing down five boards and pocketing four steals.

“We made plays when we needed to,” Walker said. “That team is very well coached, they’re very disciplined. We made some big plays at the end, we got some big shots out of Owen (Wolter) … He hit a couple of big 3s for us. They’re a tough team to guard. … We played so well late in the game to stop them and created some tough shots. Hats off to Martin County West. … That was a huge win on the road following a big win on Saturday.”

MCW (18-4) goes to St. Clair for a 7:15 p.m. showcase matchup Thursday, while the Jaguars (17-6) play host to Nicollet in Truman.

TMLG 24-22–46

MCW 19-22–41

TMLGHEC (46)

A. Heckman 6-9 3-5 17, Wolter 3-9 1-2 9, M. Heckman 3-13 1-2 8, Fischer 3-9 2-4 8, Spear 2-9 0-1 4, Jaskulke 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 17-49 7-14 46.

MCW (41)

Geistfeld 4-13 1-2 10, Reyes 3-15 1-3 9, Sinn 4-10 0-0 8, Anderson 4-9 0-0 8, Dunlop 2-6 0-0 4, Weber 1-3 0-0 2, Janssen 0-2 0-0 0. Totals: 18-58 2-5 41.

3-pointers: TMLGHEC 5-19 (A. Heckman 2, Wolter 2, M. Heckman 1); MCW 3-16 (Reyes 2, Geistfeld 1). Rebounds: TMLGHEC 42 (A. Heckman 13, Wolter and Fischer 8 each); MCW 29 (Geistfeld 11, Sinn 6). Assists: TMLGHEC 14 (M. Heckman 5, Wolter and Jaskulke 3 each); MCW 8. Steals: TMLGHEC 6; MCW 9 (Anderson 4, Reyes 3). Blocks: TMLGHEC 5 (A. Heckman 3); MCW 6 (Anderson 3).

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