ROLLA — Coming off a .500 season a year ago, the Marshfield Blue Jays opened the 2017-2018 season with a convincing win over Salem on Friday at Rolla’s Key Sport Shootout.
After losing several key players to graduation, including all-conference performer Jarrett Paoni, Britt Hill and others, this year’s Blue Jays are a junior heavy team with nine juniors and a senior rounding out its top 10.
“We only have three guys who saw varsity action last year,” Marshfield head coach Damon Seiger said. “Basically we just saw seven kids out there who just played JV last year. The more games they get under their belt, the better they are going to be in the long run and this was a good stepping stone for us.”
Marshfield jumped out to an early lead over Salem on Saturday and led the entire way.
“I thought our kids energy was really where it needed to be (on Saturday). Sometimes you go into the first game of the season and you don’t really know exactly what you are going to get.
“We came out with some good energy on the offensive end and we got some good flow early on and our defense was able to turn them over and create opportunities for us and some easy opportunities. We rolled with that.”
Marshfield features a lot of depth this season and it showed on Saturday as ten players got an opportunity to contribute.
They were led by juniors Austin Porter and Triston Letterman, the team’s most experienced varsity players.
At 6’3, Porter is a dual threat player capable of playing inside and outside. He can knock down perimeter shots and is a tough match-up on the block where he uses his length to score around the basket.
At 6’4, Letterman is a similar player to Porter. He is also long and rangy, can put the ball on the floor a little and is a tough cover in the post as well.
The Marshfield guards handled the ball well under pressure and created good angles to feed the post.
The Blue Jays jumped in a full court press against Salem on Friday and Sieger says it is something he can use when necessary.
“It is something that can help us control the tempo a little bit and make the other team do what we want them to do and not the other way around,” Seiger said.