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Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Unity Christian boys clip MMC

Monday, December 27, 2010

Marcus-Meriden-Cleghorn's Tanner Utesch plays tight defense on a falling Orange City Unity Christian ball handler in basketball action last week in Marcus. Photo by Paul Struck
MARCUS - The out-manned Marcus-Meriden-Cleghorn boys battled valiantly against the tall Orange City Unity Christian Knights here last week, trailing by just one point at 23-22 at halftime, before the Knights stayed the course with their superior depth and forged a 58-41 War Eagle Conference win.

Unity Christian went on a torrid 20-7 scoring run in the third quarter to gain full control of the game, taking a 43-29 bulge into the final eight minutes.

The gritty Eagles, despite being short-handed due to injuries, did a superb job breaking the vaunted Unity Christian fullcourt press throughout the game. It was obvious coach Pat Bird worked on that in practice in preparation for the press featuring most Unity players standing 6-4 or 6-5.

Nathan Rassel of Marcus-Meriden-Cleghorn clamps down on Orange City Unity Christian's Matthew Albert during basketball action last week in Marcus. Photo by Paul Struck
Jesse Kunzweiler led the host Eagles with 12 points, with John Hoefling and freshman Dylan Speiler each tallying eight, and Zach Specht finishing with seven. Hoefling also snagged six rebounds to lead MMC in that category.

MMC shot 17-35 from the field for a warm 49 percent, and was 5-12 from the three-point arc. The Eagles were 2-6 from the free throw line.

The Knights sank 22-55 field goals for 40 percent, netted 5-16 three-balls, and was 9-12 from the line.

Riley Hoekstra led the UC boys with 17 points, and Aaron Van Vugt scored 10.

"I thought our guys played a solid game against a very good team," said MMC coach Pat Bird. "We held our own until their depth took its toll on us midway through the third period.

"I was pleased with the way we handled their fullcourt press and took advantage of transition opportunities early on in the game. They just have too much fire power for us to contain for 32 minutes."

Coach Bird made no excuses to the fact the Eagles were missing three varsity players, including two starters, due to injury.

MMC takes a 2-6 record into the holiday break and hosts Resmen St. Mary's Jan. 4 in Marcus.

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