Patriots win twin bill over Lions at home
Marion girls cruise, boys need overtime to secure victory over Searcy By Tyler Bennett
Marion School District Both Patriot teams got wins over Searcy on Friday, but in completely different fashions.
The Lady Patriots (9-7 overall, 1-1 conference) won with a running clock in the fourth quarter, but regulation was not enough for the Patriot boys (10-3, 3-0).
The Lady Patriots started the night against the Lady Lions (4-11,0-2) strong after the loss to Nettleton last Tuesday. After not making any three pointers in the first two conference games, the Lady Pats buried eight shots from beyond the arch, three of which came in the first quarter.
Senior guard Tashlee Milow made two of the first quarter three pointers and finished with 17 points. Leading all scorers was Marion junior guard Joi Montgomery with 28 points and three three pointers.
The newfound three point shot coupled with the Lady Patriots’ defense and ability to score in transition shocked the Lady Lions early and they were not able to recover. The Lady Pats had a 29-14 lead by the end of the first quarter and never looked back.
The Lady Patriots also received help in the paint from guard Keiana Delaney and forward Mikaya McAdory. Delaney also made a pair of threes and five of McAdory’s field goal makes came from the paint and she finished with 11 points.
Marion had a 46-26 lead at the end of the first half and were able to invoke the Arkansas Activities Association’s Sportsmanship Rule and play with a running clock in the fourth quarter.
The 78-46 win is the largest conference win so far for the Lady Patriots.
The biggest question mark for the boys game that followed would be way that the Patriots would respond after a big win and making national headlines last Tuesday. The Patriots had the number four play on ESPN’s Top 10, but that distraction almost came at the perfect time for the Searcy Lions (8-8, 1-2).
“I don’t think we took them seriously enough,” said Marion head coach David Clark. “That was the game. (Searcy) understood that the top four teams go to the state playoffs and was looking for a surprise win on their resume. Marion has been hunting for a while, but now we’re the top dog.
Everyone is going to be bringing their best when they play us.”
Lions junior forward Freddy Hicks was a one man show in the first half.
Hicks made four three pointers and had 15 points in the first quarter, which ended with a 23-18 lead for the Lions.
The second quarter featured a more aggressive Patriots team, but the Lions were able to hold on to a 38-34 lead at the half. The Patriots added a Keiana Delaney (#23) leads over Searcy.
more highlight plays, including dunks by junior guard Detrick Reeves and senior guard Decoreio Smith. Smith’s was especially impressive, making the dunk through a lot of contact and converting the following three-point play.
Hicks only scored two points in the third quarter for the Lions, but Searcy’s lead expanded to as many as nine in the quarter.
Tension seemed to build in Patriot arena when the Lions went into the regulation period with a 54-47 However, the Patriots proved the game was far from over by starting the fourth quarter with a 10-0 run. The expanded to 16-3 at one point, but Searcy was able to counter with their ability to make clutch shots, including two fourth quarter three pointers.
Tied at 66 with less than two seconds in the fourth, Marion’s Makyi Boyce missed the first shot in a one-and-one opportunity, which was rebounded by the Lions. This became the first overtime game for either team this season.
The Pats and Lions would trade buckets and missed opportunities throughout the first overtime until the ball went out of bounds with 1.7 seconds left under the Marion basket. Tied at 73, Marion ran a play to free up guard Darrius Waterford, but the pass was tipped away by a Lion defender, sending the game to a second overtime.
Despite missing four free throws in the second overtime, Marion was finally able to slowly pull away from the Lions. The 81-77 win kept the Patriots undefeated in conference play as well as undefeated against teams from the Natural State. Reeves added another bucket in the second overtime to cap off his 26 point night.
Up next for the Patriots is a road trip to Baxter County on Tuesday, January 15. The Mountain Home Lady Bombers (9-7, 1-2) split last season’s meetings with the Lady Patriots. The Bombers (6-9,1-2) and Patriots boys teams did not meet last season.
a fast break against the Lady Lion defense Friday night in a Marion mercy-rule win
Photos by Tyler Bennett