Springfield, MO (For OzarksSportsZone.com) -- The Marionville Comets held off a couple of late challenges in the closing seconds and edged the Greenfield Wildcats 61-59 in a non-conference Tuesday night matchup.Greenfield led 29-28 at the half on the strength of a press defense that led to a 3-pointer by junior Brendan Black with 11 seconds left in the second quarter.
Marionville (1-0) made some adjustments during the break and they paid off in a hurry as the Comets forged ahead in the second half.
Greenfield (0-1) though hung around and with 46.2 seconds left in the game and took a 57-56 lead on a right-corner trey by junior Jacob Long. The Comets answered back 12 seconds later on a layup by freshman Lathan Kerans.
With 15.0 seconds showing on the clock, the Wildcats lost the ball out of bounds and that turnover proved costly as junior Anthony Schwindler was forced to foul Marionville’s big man Marty Minnis.
The senior calmly knocked down two free throws to put the Comets up 60-57. Another bad pass by the Wildcats led to another foul, as Ryan White hit one of two free throws with six seconds left to clinch the ballgame. Marionville then conceded a layup by Schwindler as time expired.
“The first thing we were trying to do was get a stop,” said Marionville coach Paden Grubbs. “We were having trouble guarding all night because they have a bunch of quick guards out there. The last minute, we were just trying to hang on to the lead. We got a little conservative there at the end and we weren’t attacking. Though that’s something you expect for the first game jitters. But in the end, all you want is that first game win.”
Greenfield coach Damond Lacy said, “I liked our effort, but it was also kind of poor in the fact that we weren’t organized. They hustled hard, they scrambled, but it was just chaos instead of structured like we have had it in the past.”
Minnis led all scorers with 20 points. Senior Derek Malcom chipped in with 11 points and White added 10 points as well. Austin Marshall and Hunter Montez shared scoring honors for the Wildcats.
The Comets return to action next Monday as the fifth seed against Hollister in the first round of their own Marionville Invitational. Greenfield resumes gameplay in the Humansville Tournament, where the Wildcats are the third seed against Wheatland.
Greenfield 10 19 13 17—59
Marionville (61): Marty Minnis 20, Derek Malcom 11, Ryan White 10, Sam Maples 7, Nate Hill 6, Geran Reavis 2, Lathan Kerans 2.
Greenfield (59): Hunter Montez 14, Austin Marshall 14, Anthony Schwindler 11, Brendan Black 6, Jacob Long 5, Kelby Davis 4, Carl Mason 2, Hayden Shepard 1.