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GLEN CARBON – A second-quarter run by Marissa, in which they outscored Father McGivney Catholic 21-3, including a string of 12 unanswered points, made the difference as the Meteors defeated the Griffins 66-33 Friday night in the home opener at the McGivney Gym.
The Griffins fell to 2-3 with the loss, while Marissa improved to 5-1 on the season.
The second quarter spurt by the Meteors was the key factor in the game.
“The first quarter, we were alright,” said McGivney coach Rich Beyers. “We started to miss some shots later in the first quarter, but we were within striking distance. And then the second quarter came, and I feel like we let their aggressiveness dictate everything to us on the offensive end, and then, it affected us on the defensive end as well. Give credit to Marissa; I mean, they’re a great team, and they had a great game plan going into the game, and did a nice job of executing it. They totally took us out of what we were trying to do.”
The Griffins staged a good comeback in the third, as Clayton Scott led the way for McGivney during a 10-1 run at the end of the period.
“Clayton helped us out a lot tonight,” Beyers said. “He played really well, and finished at the basket, made his free throws and was all over the place on rebounds as well. So, he kept us in the game there for the longest period of time, and luckily, he had a nice game, because it could have been a really long night for us without him.”
Scott finished the night with 13 points, the only Griffin player in double figures.
“That’s a positive he got 13 points,” Beyers said. “The negative is that the guys who normally score for us were completely out of the game. We’ve got to do more on the offensive end, we’ve got to do a better job of recognizing what teams are taking away, and then being able to adapt and make the change to get to where we want to get on the perimeter and in the post. And when teams take something away, something’s always there.
“That’s all we talked about, really,” Beyers continued, “is that we've got to do a better job recognizing when a team plays us a certain way, then take what you’re going to give us, because you can’t take away everything on the defensive end. I guess unless you’re Duke or Kentucky or you’re something like that. We don’t play them, luckily,” Beyers said with a smile.
“That’s just the way we have to approach the game,” Beyers also said, “is that we have to understand that we’re going up against good coaches, good teams that scout, and they figure out kind of what you do, what you’ve been comfortable at doing so far, and then they try to throw something different at you. That’s what basketball’s all about at the varsity level.”
Scott opened with the game’s first four points, but the Meteors then scored the next six to take the early lead, going up on Logan Jones’ three from the side. The sides traded baskets until a three from Sebastion Ivory-Greer put Marissa up 13-8. The Meteors then outscored McGivney 5-2 the rest of the quarter to make it 18-10 after one.
A three at the start of the second from Jones, followed by back-to-back scores from Ivory-Greer started a 12-0 Meteor run that ultimately decided the game. A free throw and basket from Blake Steinwagner increased the lead to 30-10 before a free throw and basket underneath by Scott cut the lead to 30-13. That would be as close as the Griffins would get, as Marissa closed out the period with a 9-0 run led by Ivory-Greer and Mason Schoenbeck to take a 39-13 lead at halftime.
The Griffins came out of the locker room to score four of the first six points in the third, all on free throws by D.J. Villhard and Scott, but Marissa was able to extend its lead to 47-17. McGivney then went on a 10-3 run to close the gap, as Scott, Darren Luchetti and Zach Brasel all scored to help cut the Meteors’ lead to 50-27 after three.
Marissa then scored the first seven points of the final term, getting baskets from Ivory-Greer and Steinwagner along the way to up the lead to 57-27 and force a running clock for the remainder of the game. The Meteors outscored the Griffins 9-3 to make the 66-33 final.
Jones had 24 points to lead the way for the Meteors, with Ivory-Greer adding 13. Scott’s 13 points paced the Griffins, while Villhard had seven.
The Griffins players kept battling throughout the game and didn’t give up, a trait that’s become a team trademark.
“They do not,” Beyers said. “They’re a great group of kids, they work their tails off every day in practice; we’ve talked about that, a lot of the stuff that we did in practice on an everyday basis, we forgot about. And that’s just unlike us. Unfortunately, we did not play well, and again, I think you have to give Marissa some credit for that, because they did a great job and coming out. They were ready to go. I felt like Marissa was more ready than what we were heading into that game.”
The Griffins go on the road to play Mt. Sterling Brown County on Monday night, and they’ll be looking to bounce back.
“Yeah, you know, they’re going to be a similar team to Marissa,” Beyers said. “They’ve got a long history at Brown County of good basketball, and we expect to get a similar game from them as what we got from Marissa. We’ve just got to play better.”
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