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FairfaxLate rally gives Marshall win in opening basketball game

Late rally gives Marshall win in opening basketball game

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In the first quarter of their opening game, the Marshall Statesmen fell behind 9-0, turned the ball over in abundance, shot poorly and appeared headed to defeat against the host Madison Warhawks.

Not so fast.

By sticking to its game plan of playing pressure defense, eventually finding a bit better shooting touch and offensive rhythm by limiting mistakes, the Statesmen gradually rallied for a late 46-45 victory in the boys high-school basketball game between neighborhood rivals. 

“We never got that frustrated or gave up on our defensive intensity,” Marshall coach Jerry Lin said. “That’s the way this team plays.”


Marshall took the lead for good, and for the first time, at 46-45 with 1:35 left on a layup by point guard Jason Penn off a steal and assist from forward Matthew Lenert. The teams then traded turnovers, and Madison eventually got two more potential winning shots that missed.

Madison led 13-5 after the first quarter, 29-18 at halftime and 37-30 entering the final stanza. Marshall outscored Madison, 16-8, in the final quarter, hitting 7 of its 10 shots from the floor in that period.

“We didn’t give up and our pressure defensive intensity kept us going and made the difference in the end,”  said Lenert, a senior and second-team all-state player from last season who led the Statesmen with 15 points, six rebounds, five steals and two blocks.

Jose Fudd made four three-pointers (two late in the fourth quarter) to score 14 for Marshall.

“My shot was falling so I wanted to shoot the ball,” Fudd said. “We didn’t start well, but we fought back and tightened up on defense.”

Penn is expected to be one of Marshall’s top scorers. He shot poorly, making just one of 10 shots from the floor, which was his game-winner. He had five points and four assists. Forward Charlie McDermott scored six and had three rebounds for Marshall, and forward Cameron Jones had three points and eight rebounds.

For Madison, forward Wyatt Norton had 14 points and nine rebounds; Trey Clark scored eight of the bench and made two three-pointers; Miles Franklin had seven points; point guard Joey Chalabi had five points, four steals and four assists before leaving the game late with leg cramps; Sam Biddick scored six; and Jack Kaminski scored three with six rebounds and five assists.

Madison shot 54 percent from the floor in the first half, but only 27 in the second (6 of 22).  For the game, the Warhawks were just 1 of 7 from the foul line.

“A lot of things go into a one-point loss,” Madison coach Kevin Roller said. “We were 1 of 7 from the foul line and we didn’t get to the line enough, we had too many second-half turnovers [eight], we missed some good scoring opportunities, their defensive pressure kept us from executing, and Marshall hit some big jumpers in the fourth quarter. Give Marshall credit.”

Roller praised Clark for his overall play off the bench.

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