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Saturday, Apr. 30, 2016

MMC boys fall to tough opponents

Friday, February 6, 2009

John Hoefling of Marcus-Meriden-Cleghorn is fouled while going up for a shot in recent boys basketball action. Photo by Roy Tucker
The Marcus-Meriden-Cleghorn boys lost two recent games to quality opponents, falling 58-53 at West Sioux on Jan. 23, then dropping a 78-49 verdict to Ruthven-Ayrshire in Marcus the next night.

Will Hanson led the Eagles at West Sioux with 23 points, while Jordan Boekhout added 10. Grant Schouten led the Falcons with 18 points.

West Sioux jumped to a 20-13 lead in the first quarter and held a 39-30 bulge at halftime, before taking a 44-40 lead into the fourth frame, as MMC hung tough throughout the second half, but could not get over the hump.

With three minutes left in the game, the Eagles tied the score at 51-51. With the Falcons leading 52-51, Boekhout was whistled with an offensive foul - his fifth foul. The teams then traded baskets and MMC had the ball with 14 seconds left and trailing just 54-53. WS fouled MMC with 10 seconds to play and the Eagles missed the front end of a 1-and-1 free throw effort, and were forced to foul. WS made both free throws MMC was then called for traveling and had to foul again and the host team made both free throws for the final 58-53 margin.

WS made 13-27 free throws in the game, while MMC sank 5-9 for a big discrepancy in the fouls called.

"I liked the way we battled back to tie the game after being behind for three quarters," said MMC coach Pat Bird. "Sometimes in the closing seconds of a game the breaks go your way, and sometimes they don't. We play West Sioux again Feb. 3 at home, so the team is looking forward to that."

Ruthven-Ayrshire broke open a tight game with a 19-8 scoring run in the third quarter on the way to its 78-49 victory over the Eagles. R-A led 39-30 at halftime.

Boekhout led MMC's scoring with 23 points and also pulled down a game-high 10 rebounds for another double-double performance. Hanson scored 13 points and had four boards. Brad Geelan led R-A with 18 points.

MMC sank 4-11 free throws, and R-A was 7-17 from the line. The Eagles netted 24-63 field goals for 38 percent, and R-A made 40-73 for a torrid 55 percent, including 9-14 three-pointers.

"Ruthven-Ayrshire is a very good, well-balanced team," said MMC's Bird. "We did OK against them in the first half, but they opened up the third quarter with three consecutive three-point baskets and made five threes altogether in that quarter.

"They also have the big people inside to take care of business in the paint. Over all, I thought we put up a good fight, their team balance was just too much for us."

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