With a nearly-packed gymnasium filled with fans representing both schools, the Marshfield Blue Jays and Rogersville Wildcats didn’t disappoint anyone. In fact, it took nearly a game-and-a-half to determine the winner. In the end, however, the Blue Jays came out on top 88-78 after three overtimes.
Led by junior Blayne Armstrong and senior Kerrick Wright, who combined for 52 points, the Blue Jays (7-4) refused to lose and did nearly everything well throughout the game. One of the most important things to Marshfield head coach J.C. Carter was his team’s lack of turnovers.
“We only had nine turnovers tonight and we’ve been having eighteen to twenty turnovers and to think we almost played a game and a half,” said Carter. “I was very proud of that.”
To open the game, Marshfield came out firing from long range and hit five 3-pointers in the first quarter to take an early 19-12 lead. The lead would grow to eight early in the second quarter, and it would be the largest lead by either team until the final buzzer.
Rogersville (5-5) grew it’s lead to six points midway through the third and fourth quarters. Senior Justus Boever (38 points) took over on the offensive end, and the Blue Jays changed strategy defensively and clawed their way back to tie it at the end of the regulation.
“[Rogersville] was doing a good job of getting the ball in the lane, and we tried to stop the dribble penetration so we went to just straight up man,” said Carter. “We had been trapping some and also played a lot of zone, and they did a good job of getting open shots, so we went to more of a straight man to man defense.”
While the defense kept the Blue Jays in the game, the biggest shot of the night came from Blayne Armstrong with 38 seconds left in the second overtime. With the Rogersville defender giving him the slightest opening, Armstrong calmly rose up and hit a shot from three feet behind the three point arc, sending the game into a third overtime.
“It’s just what we live for as athletes and being out here playing basketball,” said Armstrong. “There was really nothing going through my mind at the time. It was a big shot, and I am glad I was able to step up and make it for the team.”
With the Blue Jays up two in the third overtime, senior point guard Kerrick Wright made an incredible no-look bounce pass to an open Lukas Clift to give Marshfield a lead they would not relinquish. It was the type of play Carter has come to expect from his senior point guard.
“Kerrick stepped up unbelievable,” said Carter. “He scored 26 points and had to be worn out but he kept getting the ball in the lane and he got the ball to the right people.”
Next up for Marshfield is a home game against Bolivar on Jan. 8. The Wildcats travel to Ozark on Jan. 11.
Justus Boever 38, Corbin Medley 18, Ben Vinyard 5, Aaron Freeman 5, Colton Franklin 4, Tyler Chritton 4, Brock Bipson 2
Blayne Armstrong 26, Kerrick Wright 26, Bradey Welsh 14, Brett Diehl 9, Lawfton Summer 6, Lukas Clift 5, Mathew Clancy 2