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Knights take border war

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By Jessica Veatch and Josh Veatch

The Marion County Knights varsity basketball team traveled to Springfield to take on the Washington County Commanders Friday night. Despite some first half foul trouble, the Knights were able to hold off the Commanders and pick up their fourth win of the season, by a final score of 57-44.
The Knights and Commanders played dead even for the first quarter. The lone difference was a three pointer by Washington County with just three seconds left to hold the lead after one period. In the second quarter, the Knights defense stepped up and held the Commanders to just four points over the span. All four of the Washington County points came midway through the second frame, with the latest coming at the 3:29 mark. After that, the Knights closed out the half on a 12-0 run after trailing by four points.
Marion County opened the third quarter with four straight points to expand the lead to 12 points at 33-21. However, Washington County would answer with a 10-2 run over the next four minutes to trim the lead back to four at 35-31 with 1:58 remaining. The teams traded baskets for the remainder of the frame, and the Knights held on to a five-point advantage at the close.
In the final frame, the Knights began to pull away. The Commander offense was limited to just 10 points, while the Knights nearly doubled that output. With 2:50 remaining in the game, point guard John Southall made a spectacular alley-oop pass to Carlos Litsey. Litsey connected on a thunderous dunk that sent the Marion County faithful into a frenzy and gave the Knights their biggest lead of the night at 55-40. After that, the Knights would cruise to a 13-point victory over the rival Commanders.
“Washington County was a fun environment to be in,” Head Coach Montrelle Irvin said. “We fought foul trouble all game long and our bench responded extremely well, holding Washington County to four points in the second quarter. We can beat teams in many ways; there are not just one or two people that you can focus on. We play team ball and that’s why we have been successful.”

MCHS     14  15  10  18 - 57
WCHS    17    4   3    10 - 44
Marion County (4-0): Carlos Litsey 16, Alex Smith 14, Latrelle Irvin 11, Clay Lanham 6, John Southall 5, Patrick Gribbins 3, Vincent Collins 2
Washington County (0-3): Trae Abell 16, Connor Riney 10, Alex Marshall 10, Kyle Curtsinger 7, Adam Krey 1

Win district opener
The Marion County Knights varsity basketball team hosted the Adair County Indians in the nightcap game at the Roby Dome on Tuesday of last week. After being outscored in the first quarter, the Knights used a big second quarter to pull ahead and never looked back, defeating the Indians by a score of 53-41.  The Knights improved their record to 3-0, and picked up their first district win.
The Knights seemed to struggle a bit in the opening quarter, and found themselves in a two-point hole. Senior John Southall nailed two key three pointers to keep the Knights hanging around. During the second eight-minute frame, the Knights defense stepped up and held the Indians to only five points while they scored 15 of their own. Adair County failed to score over the final 3:37 of the opening half while Marion County closed out a 10-0 run to grab an eight point lead at the half.
The Knights maintained their advantage throughout the third frame, and used another 8-0 spurt to grab their biggest lead of the night at 14 points when the score was 41-27 with 3:23 left in the third quarter. Most of the final frame was spent with the teams trading baskets and neither making a significant run. The Knights offense was able to contain Adair County star Kyle Young, a top five player in the region, and allow him to score only eight points on the night.
“Well, we knew that Kyle was ranked 5th in the region, and we wanted to make a statement,” Head Coach Montrelle Irvin said. “We gave him pressure every time he touched the pull, forcing him to drive to our help side defense. The last three games we held our opponents in the 40’s. If we continue to do this, it will give us a chance to be in every game.”

Marion          14   15    12   12 - 53
Adair            16    5    11    9 - 41
Marion County (3-0): John Southall 16, Latrelle Irvin 12, Carlos Litsey 9, Vincent Collins 6, Alex Smith 5, Clay Lanham 3, Patrick Gribbins 2
Adair County (2-1): Chance Melton 12, Justin Reeder 11, Kyle Young 8, Jordan Alfaro 5, Matt Fudge 3, Clay Turner 2