Morrisville, Mo. (For OzarksSportsZone.com) -- The Spokane Owls came away with a hard fought victory Friday night in Morrisville beating the Marion C. Early Panthers 56-39. The 17-point victory belies how close the game really was.
The Panthers held a slim 2-point lead at the end of the first period, but that was the only frame that they won on the scoreboard. Much of the first-half scoring was earned at the charity stripe as the two teams combined for 26 fouls.
With 6:58 left to play in the first half, the Owls began to chip away at the Panthers' 13-9 lead. A Morrisville personal foul and technical foul allowed the Owls to shrink the deficit to one. The Owls took the lead, that they would never give up, just over two minutes later on a baseline 3-pointer by senior Eric Bowman.
“Eric, Zach Turner, and Hunter Bishop are our three seniors and we expect a lot out of them. [Hunter] did a good job on the offensive end and the defensive end," said Spokane coach Larry Brown.
Bishop was indeed a threat on both ends of the floor. His game-high 21 points came from inside and outside shots. He also sank six of his seven free throws. Add in his 10 rebounds and four blocks and you have a strong all-around performance.
The Spokane senior was quick to acknowledge his teammates efforts.
“Eric [Bowman] and Christian [Brown] worked the ball around on the outside to get me more touches on the inside,” said Bishop. Bowman scored 12 points to go with five assists; Brown contributed 14 points.
The Panthers couldn’t get any flow to their game. Senior standout Josh Devine was saddled with two fouls in the first quarter and didn’t see any action in the second. Still, he was able to tally a team-high 17 points. Morrisville freshman Brevin Hill had a solid performance with 11 points.
Even with the loss, Morrisville coach Jerod Hicks is pleased with where his team is this early in the season.
“Coming into this season I didn’t really know what our identity was. We lost nine seniors last year and ninety-nine percent of our scoring…We’re just trying to get better every day.”
Marion C. Early’s record stands at 4-2 with another home game slated for Tuesday against Fair Play. The Owls also own a 4-2 record and head to Pleasant Hope December 18. Each team has two games before they enter the Blue and Gold Tournament.
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