WATERTOWN, Wis. – Maranatha put up a fight against the Benedictine Eagles despite missing seniors Matthew McGivern (Milwaukee, Wis.) and Joel Borchardt (Watertown, Wis.), losing 70-59 on Saturday evening.
Borchardt missed the game due to an ankle injury while McGivern was out with flu-like symptoms.
Maranatha endured through a rough first half in which the team shot under 20% from the field en route to a 33-15 deficit at halftime.
The Crusaders sorely missed Borchardt’s defense in the post as Benedictine held a 38-18 advantage in paint points, 24 coming in the first period alone.
Maranatha made adjustments at the half which resulted in the team erasing a 20-point deficit down to seven points on a three by Matt Hunter (Pontiac, Ill.) with 7:31 on the clock.
Benedictine responded on the next possession with a three-pointer, but junior forward Kyle Kutz (Cambridge, Wis.) once again cut the lead to 55-47, forcing an Eagle’s timeout.
The lead shot back to double-digits, and the Crusaders came as close as eight points on a jumper by junior transfer Scott Sutter (Cincinnati, Ohio) before Benedictine iced the game on free-throws.
Hunter led the team in scoring with 12 points and seven rebounds while Sutter finished with 11 points and six rebounds.
“We’re obviously missing our two captains, but Benedictine played well enough to win. We dug ourselves a hole getting used to the void left by Borchardt and McGivern. Guys like Jackson, McKinney, Tanner, and Andrew Gunst played well and Hunter’s defense was solid, getting his hands on a lot of loose balls,” stated head coach Keith Salscheider.