It was a textbook win.
The first win of 2018 for the Somerset boys basketball team was accomplished just the way any coach would want. The Spartans took the lead from the start last Tuesday against Baldwin-Woodville and they kept the lead under control the rest of the night, defeating the Blackhawks 55-46. It was Somerset's fifth win of the season, but the first since a win over Boyceville on Dec. 21.
Somerset coach Taylor Germain is trying to build a team that is defensively sound at all times. That was the case in this game. The Spartans limited B-W to 14 points in the first half, leading 23-14 at the break. Whenever the Hawks tried to make a charge in the second half, the Spartans were able to match it.
"We played a complete game," Germain said. "The kids were focused. They executed well at both ends of the court."
Sophomore Ty Madden led the Spartans with 20 points. While Madden's offensive impact is easy to see, Germain said he's coming along just as quickly as a defensive player.
"He's growing as a player. He's athletic. He's becoming more versatile at both ends of the court," Germain said.
Junior Brennan Sheridan scored 11 points. He hit two three-pointers that shut down B-W's best charge of the second half.
The Spartans went to Prescott last Friday, as the Cardinals are closing in on another Middle Border Conference championship. The Spartans were able to stay competitive early, but took an 81-60 loss in the game.
"They're relentless," Germain said of Prescott. "They don't stop coming after you."
Somerset kept the game close through most of the first half. Prescott went on a run at the end of the half to lead 36-22 at the break. The Cards broke the game open early in the second half. That was led by Peter Brookshaw, who erupted for 36 points.
Somerset didn't give up. The Spartans hit a number of shots in the final quarter of the game to finish with 60 points. Madden led the team with 19 points and Trae Kreibich hit four treys to finish with 12 points.
The Spartans face another high-powered offense this Thursday when they host Ellsworth. The Spartans will play at St. Croix Central next Tuesday. Germain is trying to give his team some incentive in these games where they'll go in as the underdog.
"We're starting March Madness a month early. We're going to try to knock off some teams," he said.