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M-P drops conference opener to Snohomish
MARYSVILLE After allowing an 11-1 run by Snohomish to open the game, M-P struggled to make a comeback, falling to the Panthers 65-49 in Dec. 7 conference opener.
Snohomish made the Tomahawks earn their first half points at the foul line, holding M-P to a single field goal in the first quarter and bottling up standout center Taylor Stevens for just four free throws in the first half.
The Tommies suffered a brutal first quarter, entering the second period down 19-6. Snohomishs Zach Wilde outscored M-P in the first eight minutes, while teammate Brad Shaw hit a pair of threes.
With the Panthers focus on Stevens, M-P started spreading the ball around. Senior forward Collin Thomason stepped into the scoring vacuum, hitting field goals in all four quarters.
M-P came out of halftime looking much more composed, and outscored the Panthers 16-10 in the third quarter to close within five points of the visitors. Additionally, the Tommies started to take advantage of Snohomishs aggressive defense, drawing fouls and going to the line, where the team went 21-for-28.
Said M-P coach Bary Gould of the Tomahawks new look in the second-half. I like to refer to our deficit in baskets, not points. Were down six baskets. We can get six baskets.
The team bought in to the philosophy, successfully continued their third-quarter strategy well into the fourth quarter, seizing on poor free-throw shooting by Snohomish and success on their own part. The margin closed to 53-49, thanks to made free throws by Thomason and Stevens with 1:17 left in the game.
Unfortunately for M-P, the score was still padded by Snohomishs initial advantage as time was running out, forcing the Tomahawks to start fouling Snohomish for opportunities on offense. In the final 77 seconds, Snohomish played the strategy for a 12-0 run to run away with the win.
If we didnt spot them a 10-point lead, it could have been a different game, Gould said after the loss.
Snohomish successfully pressured Stevens, holding the team captain to a relatively modest 15 points. Thomason followed with 14 points while senior guard Joey Kelly had eight, thanks to a pair of threes in the Tommies second-half rally.
I think Taylor, for the first time, tried to force some shots instead of letting them flow out of our offense, Gould said. What we took from this game is Taylor doesnt have to score for us to be successful. Were a five-man team.
The Tommies get a second chance at Wilde and Snohomish Jan. 12.
6 11 16 16 49
19 10 10 26 65
Marysville-Pilchuck Kelly 8, Lanphere 3, Lovell 4, Scheller 5, Stevens 15, Thomason 14. Snohomish Jeffries 3, Johnson 6, Klop 1, Leahy 2, Low 7, McGinnis 4, Shaw 14, Wilde 28. 3-pointers Shaw 2, Wilde 1, Johnson 1, Thomason 2, Kelly 2. Records Snohomish 1-0 in league, 3-0 overall. M-P 0-1, 2-2