The Marshall High School boys basketball team finished the Joe Cascio Classic Varsity Holiday Basketball Tournament at 1-2 over three games held Dec. 27 to 29.
In game one, the Marshall boys basketball team suffered from a slow start and a tough draw to lose their opening game against a good J.E.B. Stuart Raiders team. The Statesmen were unable to dig themselves out of a deep hole and came up just short against a Raiders team seeking revenge for a loss to the Statesmen earlier in the season.
Stuart came ready to play and opened up a 17 point half time lead. The Statesmen found themselves trailing by 12 at the end of the third period before finally kicking it into a higher gear in the final six minutes of play. Marshall poured in 27 points in the fourth period but were not able to get any closer than the final three point margin of 62-59.
Grant Leibow tried to carry the team on his back with a 16 point outburst in the final period but it wasn’t quite enough to tip the outcome in Marshall’s favor. He finished with 21 points and was joined by a supporting cast of Towner Hale with 12, Connor Barrand with 11, and Christian Cameron with 10 points. The Statesmen had six three-point baskets, with four of them coming in the second half.
Finding themselves in the consolation bracket, the Statesmen next met up with the Robert E Lee Lancers who had also lost their first game. The opening period was not one for a highlight reel for either team, ending with a 6-5 Lancers lead. The pace and quality of play then picked up and the Statesmen found themselves with a 20-16 lead going into the halftime break.
Marshall was able to extend the lead to as many as 8 points in the third, but let the Lancers crawl back to take a 1 point lead at the end of three periods of play. Neither team was able to score during the first 3 minutes of the final period. The Statesmen were able to feed off a strong defensive and rebounding effort and held the Lancers to only 4 point in the final period, to finish on top 40-35.
Towner Hale was the beneficiary of several great passes from teammates for easy layups on his way to a 19 point game. Freshman center Tyler White was a force throughout the game while dominating inside the paint with 13 rebounds and 4 blocked shots and chipping in with 5 points. Connor Barrand also contributed with 4 points, with Doug Turpin and Christian Cameron supporting the cause with 4 points each.
The Statesmen had to finish their tournament play against the Freedom-South Riding Eagles without the services of Towner Hale and his team-leading average of 12.6 points per game, due to an illness. Burned by 10 three-point baskets by the Eagles which accounted for about one half of their opponent’s points, the Statesmen fell by the score of 62-59 in a game that see- sawed back and forth until the very end. Marshall trailed by one point after the first and took a 28-26 lead into half time. The score was deadlocked at 41 at end of three periods of play. The Eagles were able to take a 5 point lead in the fourth period only to see the Statesmen tie it up 54 all with just under a minute left to play. But the Statesmen were unable to successfully travel the length of the court on their last possession down by 3 and with only 3 seconds remaining , and found themselves on the short end in a hard fought game.
Doug Turpin led all Marshall scorers with 16 points, followed closely by Connor Barrand with 15. Christian Cameron had 9 on three 3 pointers, while Tyler White had 6 and Mike Trivisonno with 4.
The Statesmen are off until after the new year with a Liberty District game Friday at home against McLean.
Linda White reported for this story.