MARCUS - The feisty Le Mars Gehlen Jays held off a persistent Marcus-Meriden-Cleghorn team to post a hard-fought 70-50 boys basketball victory here Friday night.
The key to the outcome came on a 22-9 scoring advantage in the third quarter for the visiting Jays, which set the Eagles back on their heels to trail 55-35 after three periods. MMC had battled tough to trail 33-26 at halftime after falling back early 9-2 in the face of a formidable Gehlen full-court press.
Tim Holmes again led the Eagles' scoring with 20 points, while Nate Dammann added 13, and Jordan Boekhout and Brandon Brady seven apiece.
Eric Rohe led the winning Jays with 19 points, followed by Mitch Kurth 17, and Alex Loutsch 11.
Holmes also led MMC on the boards with seven rebounds, and in assists with five. Brady recorded four steals to lead in that category.
MMC sank 18-41 field goals for 41 percent, while Le Mars Gehlen knocked down 29-61 for a warm 48 percent. MMC was 9-15 from the free throw line, and the Jays 10-13.
The MMC cause was seriously hampered with 26 turnovers, many of which Gehlen transferred into points at the other end.
"They're a nice, athletic ball club," said MMC coach Al Vasher. "They shot well and have good senior leadership. And they're deep. That's a tough combination.
"Foul trouble hurt us in the second quarter and their scoring run in the third period just killed us. We had some bright spots and made a nice run at them in the second quarter, but it was never enough. We lack varsity experience and just aren't deep enough right now. We're a work in progress."
The MMC teams host Granville Spalding Tuesday night.