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Mt. Vernon outruns M-P on the hardcourt
MARYSVILLE — Marysville-Pilchuck’s boys varsity basketball team came into its season opener on Dec. 3 with five seniors in guards Dominique Kiblinger and Terryll Daguison, wings Bruce Crawford and Phillip DeSanctis and post Calvin White.
The trouble is that Mount Vernon, hungry for its first non-Northwest Conference win after losing to Snohomish and Anacortes, has eight seniors.
The Bulldogs showed the Tomahawks what a surplus of veteran talent can do by running M-P up and down the floor to a 75-63 win.
Mount Vernon was quicker than M-P from the tip-off as they hustled to fast break baskets and forced the Tomahawks to keep up with their pace. The Bulldogs out-hustled and out-rebounded the Tomahawks early and often.
“We couldn’t guard everyone at once,” said M-P junior guard Nathan Williams, who registered 28 points and went six-for-seven from three-point range and nine-of-eleven on field goals. “All of their guards could shoot and it’s hard to guard your guy and help out at the same time.”
M-P swung the ball around the perimeter to try to catch Mount Vernon’s 2-3 zone out of position, but found few gaps for dribble-drive penetration.
Quick hands on the Bulldog defense snatched Tomahawk passes away and took them the length of the court in a flash.
The score favored Mount Vernon 19-12 at the end of the first quarter.
“We played hard on defense, but they’re smart with the ball,” M-P junior guard Monnie Williams said of Mount Vernon’s offense.
M-P slowed the Bulldogs’ pace and gained ground in rebounding in the second quarter, but too many times Mount Vernon dribblers beat a Tomahawk defender one-on-one and swooped in to score. Time and again Mount Vernon’s quick passing in the half court found an uncovered man for a quick layup.
The Tomahawks stayed in contention with three-point shot after three-point shot, but were fortunate that their long-range shots were falling because the Bulldogs gave up no easy buckets and no penetration.
M-P pushed the ball downcourt with under 10 seconds in the half, but Kiblinger’s buzzer-beater layup would not fall.
Mount Vernon led 44-33 at the half.
“We played like it was zero-zero coming out of halftime,” Monnie Williams said of his team’s effort to adjust to the Bulldog rush.
Mount Vernon continued their success against the Tomahawk defense, keeping possessions alive with offensive rebounds and converting layups at will to extend their lead to 61-39 after three quarters.
Junior guard Nathan Williams fought to keep his team in the game with a flurry of three-point shots and a twisting, winding layup that earned him free throws, but the Bulldogs’ speed and execution suffocated M-P’s ball-control half court attack.
“I focused on shooting all day,” said Nathan, who finished six-of-seven on three-pointers, of his shots that kept falling. “I treated this whole past week like game day.”
M-P applied a full-court press down 73-52 late and Nathan Williams rewarded his team’s efforts by sinking a three-pointer, as would Monnie Williams on the very next stolen ball.
Mount Vernon called timeout with just over a minute remaining in the game to quell the Tomahawks’ late-game surge.
Nathan Williams scored the last of his 28 points on the night with another three-pointer with just seconds to go, but M-P’s fate was sealed, 75-63.