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Marion survives scare from Red Devils, prevail in OT

  • Marion's Hunter Simmons had a team-high 17 points, nine of which came in a crucial fourth quarter as the Wildcats forced overtime in a non-conference victory over Murphysboro.

    Marion's Hunter Simmons had a team-high 17 points, nine of which came in a crucial fourth quarter as the Wildcats forced overtime in a non-conference victory over Murphysboro.
    SPYDER DANN | mdann@dailyregister.com

 
By Spyder Dann mdann@dailyregister.com
updated: 2/23/2021 9:49 AM

In a game that featured 10 ties and 12 lead changes the only one that mattered was Hunter Simmons' bucket for Marion with 45 seconds to go that broke a 61-all tie and helped the Wildcats get past Murphysboro 63-62 in overtime Saturday afternoon.
Simmons' muscle was the difference for Marion against Murphysboro as the senior forward poured in a team-high 17 points, nine of which came in a crucial fourth quarter where the Wildcats outscored Murphysboro 20-13 to end regulation knotted at 57.
Marion's other senior, Jordan Cook, had five points in the all-important final eight minutes of regulation and finished in double figures with 10.
In a game of runs, Marion head coach Gus Gillespie said it was his seniors that willed the Wildcats to victory.
"Jordan and Hunter really said 'we want to win this game' and got it done for us," Gillespie said. "Murphysboro is very difficult to guard. They are shifty and can put a lot of pressure on your defense. They got up 10 points with about and we had some kids that showed some character. We really kind of got back on our heels and took some questionable shots early in the second half, but that's easy one to give away, so I'm proud of our effort and our fight against a very scrappy and good ballclub."
Two other Wildcats finished scoring in double figures as Trevor Jackson scored 16 points and Rayzhaun Bardo netted 11 for Marion (2-2).
Gavin Newsome scored seven for MHS, while Evan Noelle tossed in two points.
Murphysboro put two players in double figures as Calvon Clemons had a game-high 24 points, while JaQuan Jackson added 18 points.
In the first half, both clubs played to three ties and four lead changes as Marion took a 30-27 lead into the locker room.
Murphysboro drew first blood on Saturday, but Marion went on a 9-0 run, before the Red Devils stormed back to take a 12-9 lead with a minute and change left to play, capping off a 10-0 run of their own.
Marion's Trevor Jackson tied the game at 12-all to end the first quarter, but Murphysboro -- again -- grabbed the early lead in the second quarter with a bucket by Calvin Clemons. Jackson then had back-to-back buckets giving Marion a 17-15 lead and pushed the advantage out to 21-15 before Murphysboro got back on the board at the 5:40 mark with a free throw by Jaquan Jackson.
In the first half, both clubs played to three ties and four lead changes as Marion took a 30-27 lead into the locker room.
Murphysboro drew first blood, but Marion went on a 9-0 run, before the Red Devils stormed back to take a 12-9 lead with a minute and change left to play, capping off a 10-0 run of their own.
Marion's Trevor Jackson tied the game at 12-all to end the first quarter, but Murphysboro -- again -- grabbed the early lead in the second quarter with a bucket by Calvin Clemons. Jackson then had back-to-back buckets giving Marion a 17-15 lead and pushed the advantage out to 21-15 before Murphysboro got back on the board at the 5:40 mark with a free throw by Jaquan Jackson.
Clemons came up with a nifty up-and-under for the Red Devils to pull them to within two at 33-31 and Cornelis Davis had a heads up play o the baseline, coming up with a steal and knocking down two free throws to tie the game at 33-all. Davis, a 5-foot-11 senior guard, was on the receiving end of a full length court pass to put the Red Devils up 35-33 with 4:54 to play.
Rayzhaun Bardo knotted the game at 35-all on his own putback. Davis then had a five-point swing for Murphysboro, giving them a 40-35 lead with 2:30 left to go in the third quarter.
The Red Devils entered the fourth, leading 44-37 and built a 48-38 lead after a bucket by Clemons. Marion went 7-of-8 from the free-throw line and outscored Murphysboro 20-13 in the final eight minutes of regulation.
In OT, Clemons put Murphysboro up 59-57 and after trading buckets, Bardo tied the game at 61-all with 1:43 to play before Simmons go-ahead basket.
Mt. Vernon 66, Marion 45
On Friday, Mt. Vernon put four players in double figures in a 66-45 win for the Rams.
Marion was led by 10 points from Bardo, while Cook netted nine and Noelle added eight. Bryson Wilson scored six points, while Simmons, Jackson and Newsome all finished with four points.
Mt. Vernon was led in scoring by Carson Prost's 20-point night. NJ Benson tacked on 12 and Dylan Harkins added 11. Quami Rudd rounded out the double figure scoring with 10.
Marion is scheduled to play host to Cairo on Thursday night, followed by a Friday night game against Centralia at home.

Spyder Dann covers prep and college sports for the Southern Illinois LOCAL Media Group. Follow him on Twitter: @spydieshooter.