Marionville got out to a 33-18 half time lead and seemed to have the game in hand. Spokane, playing without seniors Hunter Bishop and Cody McMurray, would mount a comeback in the fourth quarter and get the score back to within eight points, 48-40 with 5:30 left.
It was at this point that the game turned sour for Spokane when the Spokane bench received its first technical. Marionville hit the two technical free throws and also scored when they received the ball. Spokane would keep fighting, but was hit with its second technical with 4:58 left in the fourth quarter. This resulted in head coach Larry Brown's automatic ejection from the game, and the Owls had lost their momentum, trailing 54-42.
The Comets would start to stall with less than three minutes to go, forcing the Owls to foul. Marionville senior Marty Minnis made his free throws down the stretch, leading the Comets to the win against a struggling Spokane Owls team.
“Those points gave us a little more of a cushion, and that was really big for us, not only on the scoreboard but mentally for the guys,” said Marionville coach Paden Grubbs. “We have lost some leads this year and it’s been tough.”
“We knew going in that we had a size advantage on them, but that doesn’t mean whole lot so getting the ball inside was something we wanted to do tonight” said Grubbs. “We’re thankful to come out of here with a win; it’s a good win for us and our program. Plus, it’s a district game, and with district seeding coming up here in a couple weeks, that will mean a lot for us.”
Minnis led the scoring for Marionville with 16 points.
“Marty is a kid that we’ve got to have,” said Grubbs. “He has a lot of potential and God-given ability.”
“I started the game off really slow and I wasn’t making anything, but I just kept rebounding and that kept me in the game,” said Minnis. “Then at the end of the game, things started to click and I made my free throws.”
The game’s leading scorer was Spokane senior Eric Bowman, who had 24 points in the losing effort.
“We got off to a slow start and with Hunter and Cody both out we could not afford to do that,” said Bowman. “They had two 6’5” guys and we were outmatched. They just got the best of us.”
The Owls, who have lost seven of the last eight games without Bishop playing any significant time, are hoping to get him back after next week’s games and in time for districts.
“We schedule hard games in the regular season so that when we get into districts it gives us the same level of play we’ve been playing with” said Bowman. “Hopefully, once we get through these tough games, we can bounce back at districts.”
Marionville 14 19 11 14 -58Spokane 7 11 18 8 -44
Marionville—Marty Minnis-16, Seth Smith-12, Nate Hill-12, Ryan White-11, Lathan Kerans-3, Sam Maples-3, Geoffrey Stafford-1
Spokane—Eric Bowman-24, Zach Turner-8, Christian Brown-5, Brandon Cloud-2, Brandon McCoy-2, Storm Price-2, Jimmy Cooper-1