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Sunday, May 1, 2016

Unity Christian gets MMC boys late

Friday, February 10, 2012

Andrew Hoefling of Marcus-Meriden-Cleghorn plays tough defense on a Le Mars Gehlen ball handler during basketball action Friday night in Marcus. Photo by Paul Struck
ORANGE CITY - Once again, the battling Marcus-Meriden-Cleghorn boys fought tooth and nail with a tough opponent, only to falter down the stretch, losing 61-56 to Orange City Unity Christian here Tuesday night.

The Eagles led 21-14 after the first period, and 38-26 at halftime after a superb first-half outing, before the host Knights toughened up on defense in the final two quarters to outscore MMC 35-18 and claim the victory.

Dylan Spieler led MMC with 19 points, and Zach Specht tallied 15. Andrew Hoefling led the Eagles in rebounds with six, and Specht led in steals and assists with four each.

Marcus-Meriden-Cleghorn defenders Nate Rassel (22) and Dalton Brady (10) sandwich Le Mars Gehlen's Trevor Bouma during action in Marcus Friday night. Photo by Paul Struck
Ross Groeneweg paced Unity Christian with 23 points, and Blake Zomermaand scored 18.

MMC sank 22-49 field goals for 45 percent, was 8-16 from the three-point line, and netted 4-7 free throws.

The Knights made 25-46 shots for a sizzling 54 percent, was 6-16 for three-balls, and converted 5-8 fre throws in the well-played game.

MMC led the game until one minute left in the third period and the Eagles' last lead was 56-55 with three minutes left. Two of MMC's final three ball possessions ended in turnovers.

"We came out very strong in the first half, but their defensive pressure got to us in the second half," noted MMC coach Pat Bird. "They took us out of our offense and created some turnovers with their press.

"Our guys played their hearts out, but just came up a little bit short in the end."

MMC now sports a 12-9 record and plays at Kingsley-Pierson tonight to end regular season. The Eagles host Remsen-Union next Thursday in first-round Class 1A District Tournament action.

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