Prep boys basketball: For Duluth Marshall’s Timm, wins more important than points
Despite averaging nearly 30 points per game, the Hilltoppers senior is more interested in a run to the state tournament.
DULUTH — With about 5 minutes to go in a home game Tuesday against Barnum, Duluth Marshall was struggling.
Once trailing by 21, the Bombers had scored 13 straight to close the deficit to 49-41 and Hilltoppers coach turned to senior Jasper Timm to help stop the run. Timm drained 3-pointers on consecutive trips down the floor to extend the lead back to double digits.
“I was just trying to play within the system and coach drew up a play for me,” Timm said. “I was able to get the ball and I know my role is to shoot it and, make or miss, I know that it’s a good shot. So I was feeling confident and I was happy to make both.”
The shots from long range helped extend the lead back to 12 and lift Duluth Marshall to a 64-52 win.
Timm finished with 19 points, but it wasn’t his scoring that made the difference against Barnum. He is averaging 29 points per game this season, but when his shots weren’t falling in the first half he was content to facilitate his teammates’ scoring instead of forcing bad shots.
“What I love about Jasper is Jasper wants to win,” Duluth Marshall coach Tom Mitchell said. “If Jasper needs to score a ton of points to win the game, he’ll do that. If he needs to distribute, he’ll do that. If he’s getting a ton of pressure, he trusts his teammates. He puts up some of the best stats I’ve ever seen in a high school player, but it’s not about that for him, it’s about winning.”
Timm took a step back and let freshman Brooks Johnson take the lead. Johnson finished with 21 points for Duluth Marshall and hit four free throws in the final minutes of the game to stop the Bombers’ last run and seal the win.
“Brooks has a ton of fire,” Mitchell said. “He’s only a ninth-grader, but doesn’t play like a ninth-grader. He’s got a ton of maturity — especially given his age — and he plays hard every night. He’s incredibly focused and, a lot like Jasper, he wants to win.”
The pair are developing in a one-two punch that could help the Hilltoppers win a section championship and get back to the state tournament for the first time since 2002.
“We’ve got such a hardworking team and when we put it together, I think we’re one of the best teams in the area,” Timm said. “One of our biggest problems right now is staying consistent … Today one of our main focuses was to translate that into the game and I think we did a really good job with that.”
Mitchell said his team is working on discipline and showed a lack of it during the Bombers’ second half runs, but they relied on seniors like Timm, Mason Boos and Alex Olson to steady the ship.
“At the end we were able to pull it together and finish the game the way we needed to,” Mitchell said. “That’s a tribute to our seniors leading guys on the floor. I only get five timeouts and the coaching staff can only do so much from the sideline.”
While Johnson will be returning for several years, Timm recently committed to play basketball next year at the University of Wisconsin-Stout.
“I loved the coaches, I loved the area and I know that I’ll be coming into a super competitive conference in the (Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference),” Timm said. “I’m just super excited to be able to play any college basketball and I know that I’m going to make the most of the opportunity that I’m given.”
Bombers refuse to give up
While Barnum had a slow start and fell behind by a large deficit in the second half, the team rallied to threaten the Hilltoppers twice in the final minutes.
The Bombers scored 13 consecutive points — including eight from senior Evan Gustafson — to cut the 21-point deficit to eight.
“Number one we started playing defense like we could,” Barnum coach Rich Newman said. “We were stopping all that stuff they were doing, stealing the ball, boxing out and rebounding. We started playing our basketball game in the second half, but we dug ourselves a really big hole going down by 21 points.”
Gustafson led all scorers with 24 points for Barnum.
“This team never quits and that’s what I’m really proud of,” Newman said. “They’re a good, solid bunch of kids. They play the game the way it’s supposed to be played.”
Duluth Marshall (5-5) will play at Proctor at 7:15 p.m. Thursday. Barnum (7-4) will host Two Harbors at 7:15 p.m. Friday.