First-year Mayo coach Luke Masdsen was not fooled by a strong run by the Spartans to close Friday's first half against John Marshall.
The visiting Spartans trailed by as many as 16 points in the first half. But with JM standout Matthew Hurt on the bench with two fouls, Mayo closed the game with an 8-0 run to pull within 39-32 at the break.
"We knew it was fool's gold," Madsen said. "Hurt was on the bench, but it was good to get us back in the game. But we've got to fix a few things."
Hurt had scored 14 points in the first half and had gotten plenty of help from his teammates. The 6-foot-9 junior then took over the second half. Hurt scored the first seven points of the second half, and 10 of the first 13. The Rockets, in their season opener, started the half with a 13-0 run and went on to an easy 84-55 win in boys basketball.
"We didn't make too many changes," JM first-year coach Jim Daly said. "We just took care of the ball (the second half). They kind of trapped us a little bit the last three and a half minutes (of the first half) and we turned it over. And the turnovers led to direct points."
Hurt poured in 24 points in the second half. He finished with 38 points, 13 rebounds and four blocked shots.
"I just have to be patient," Hurt said. "I was rushing it a little bit. I tried to stay patient and stay with the offense. And I think we did a good job of that."
In the second half Hurt was 9-for-10 from the floor. He made one of his three 3-pointers in the half, but scored on a variety of inside moves, including several quick spins and drives to the basket.
"I just wanted the game to come to me, that's when it's really easy for me," Hurt said. "If I'm not scoring, I'm trying to make assists and make the right play. I think I was doing that. But we just have to keep getting better every day."
"I think the first half they kind of spread us out a little too much," Daly said. "The second half we said, 'Let's get it inside a little bit more.' I think that might have been the difference."
JM junior guard Montrae Hiatt came off the bench to score 11 of his 13 points in the first half, and he hit a trio of 3-pointers. Eric Stai had seven of his 12 points in the first half, and slammed home the only dunk of the game. Tyler Ebert added 10 points for the Rockets and made three of the team's 13 3-pointers.
"We had a lot of guys who were able to hit some threes," Daly said.
"It wasn't just him (Hurt)," Madsen said. "I thought coach Daly did a great job of creating opportunities for other kids to use their skill sets in a comfortable way. You saw those kids take advantage of opportunities."
JM controlled the boards 45-24 and shot a torrid 56 percent from the field (30-for-54). Mayo shot just 32 percent (17-for-53).
"I thought offensively our inability to get great shots every time down the floor ended up being our demise," Madsen said.
"In order for us to compete at that level, we have got to get great shots every time down the floor," he added. "And I think a lot of time we just got shots."
The coach's twin sons — sophomores Gabe and Mason — accounted for 28 of Mayo's points. Gabe, a 6-5 guard, had 18 points and four rebounds. Mason, a 6-3 guard, had 10 points. Senior Stephen Douglas chipped in with 13 points for Mayo.
The game was played before a capacity crowd of about 1,850 at John Marshall High School.
"It was pretty crazy. It was going to be a great matchup either way," Hurt said. "The twins are really good. We respect their game but we just tried to be difficult on them."
Mayo drops to 1-1, 0-1 in the Big Nine Conference.
"We'll get better. We're not discouraged," Luke Madsen said. "We're a little disappointed with how we played, but I trust these kids will come back on Monday and be ready to go."
JM is 1-0 overall and in the Big Nine. The Rockets play at Lakeville South today.
"That will be a tough game for us, but I think we're up for it," Hurt said.
John Marshall 84, Mayo 55
Michael Crum 3 P, 1 3-PT; Braeden Greseth 1 P, 3 R; Erik Daniels 1 P; Carter Pasternak 1 P; Stephen Douglas 13 P, 1 3-PT; Gabe Madsen 18 P, 8 R, 2 3-PT; Kyle Kriener 1 P; Calvin Dixon 5 P; Mason Madsen 10 P, 1 3-PT; Adam Leary 2 P.
JOHN MARSHALL (84)
Matthew Hurt 38 P, 13 R, 3 3-PT; Mert Taylor 1 P; Montrae Hiatt 13 P, 3 3-PT; Tyler Novak 2 P; Tyler Ebert 10 P, 3 3-PT; Simon Werven 3 P, 4 R, 1 3-PT; William Woodford 2 P; Eric Stai 12 P, 7 R, 2 3-PT; Solomon Antoine 3 P, 1 3-PT.
Halftime: JM 39, MAYO 32.
Free throws: MAYO 16-28, JM 11-15. Field goals: MAYO 17-53, JM 30-54.
Three-point goals: MAYO 5, JM 13. Rebounds: MAYO 24, JM 45. Turnovers: MAYO 12, JM 17.