By ERIC TABER
The Montana men’s basketball team took the court for the first time in 2015 in the first intrasquad scrimmage of the season on Saturday morning in Dahlberg Arena.
Grizzly head coach Travis DeCuire used the scrimmage to break his squad into two evenly matched teams in terms of experience, and shuffled the deck slightly in the second half of the scrimmage to look at some individual matchups.
In the end, the two teams would need an extra four minutes of play to determine a winner on the scoreboard, proof positive that competition for spots is tight.
“We looked how I expected us to look this early in the year, a lot of work to do, a lot of slippage on both sides of the ball. But, on the flip side, it was good to see good competition,” said Coach DeCuire following the scrimmage.
“Some of the young guys, stepped up and showed why they’re here early. We only have six practices under our belt, so next week we expect to be a little bit better and be a little close knit as a team. But we’re headed in the right direction.”
Starting on the maroon squad for the Griz were Brandon Gfeller, Bobby Moorehead, Fabijan Krslovic, Martin Breunig, and newcomer Walter Wright.
On the silver side of the ball, true freshman Michael Ogunie featured at point, along with Oregon transfer Ahmaad Rorie at the two spot, Gavin DeJong, Jack Lopez and Bryden Boehnig down low.
From the tip-off, the experience of Big Sky preseason All-Conference forward Martin Breunig shown through with a couple of strong dunks on feeds from junior transfer Walter Wright.
Wright looked dangerous with ball in hand all afternoon, and accounted for four points in the first period.
Across from Wright however was the hard charging Mike Oguine, who put down a monster dunk on a rebound, and was a terror with ball in hand all morning, scoring a team high nine points. The Wright/Oguine matchup was one of the highlights of the morning as each newcomer made their case for playing time.
Brandon Gfeller picked up where he left off last season, going 2/3 from long range in the first period of play.
True freshman Bobby Moorehead also showed his touch as a shooting forward with six points from long range.
At the end of the first period, the maroon squad ran out to a 27-17 lead. Moving into the second period, the score was adjusted to read 50-50.
With just two seconds on the clock, the silver team had a 64-62 lead, when Gfeller was fouled shooting from behind the arc, and went to the line to shoot three. He missed the first shot, but drained the next two to send it to extra time. In the end, the Maroon team led by Breunig pulled away to finish the scrimmage ahead 72-64.
The Griz will hold two more scrimmages before opening Dahlberg Area up to fans for the annual Maroon and Silver scrimmage on October 27.