Senior guard Ryan Robinson had 17 points, five rebounds and four assists as the visiting Statesmen avenged an early season loss to Edison, 42-37. It was Marshall’s ninth straight win.
The Statesmen in fact hadn’t lost since falling to Edison 69-66 at home on December 12th. In the three-way National District race between Marshall, Edison and Wakefield, the Statesmen couldn’t afford another loss to the Eagles. Plus they wanted to pay Edison back.
“It felt really good. Especially after going down early and having to fight back, the win felt extra good,” Robinson said after the game.
The Statesmen did have to overcome a sizable deficit early. Down 10-3 after one quarter, a Shurland Williams three-pointer put Marshall down 18-6 a couple minutes into the second quarter, forcing a Statesmen time out. Considering Marshall’s deliberate pace, a 12-point deficit seemed a large margin to overcome on the road against a good team like Edison.
But Marshall didn’t panic and embarked on a 12-0 run after the time out to tie the score. The Statesmen didn’t deviate from their game plan and didn’t try to get it all back in a hurry. They simply kept working hard on defense and held Edison to just two points the last 5:40 of the half. At that point the crowd realized the game was likely to be a close one.
The teams went back and forth in the third quarter. An 8-0 Edison run was answered in short order by three-pointers from Robinson and junior Ryan Schlaffer. Then in the fourth quarter with the game tied at 34, Marshall started to pull away slowly. Joseph Lampman hit a shot and center Daniel Deaver sank two free throws after being fouled on an offensive rebound. Then after a defensive stop Deaver found Robinson on a back-door lay-up, giving Marshall a 40-34 lead.
Edison guard Jared Clawson made things interesting with an old-fashioned three-point play with 1:29 left, but Robinson and the Statesmen responded. This time Lampman found Robinson for another back-door cut, making it again a two possession game. Edison got some decent looks at the basket down the stretch but couldn’t convert against Marshall’s always-effective zone defense. The final margin of victory was sealed.
“We’ve been working on the [back-door] play and coach keeps telling us to execute it,” Robinson said of his two key back-door lay-ups. “That’s the first time we actually have and it worked out well.”
Then the party began for Marshall as the team happily sung “West Virginia” from John Denver in the locker room. You might not expect high school kids these days to be happily singing a song from 30 years before any of them were born, or see the relevance of it as a victory song, but Robinson explained.
“That’s our team song,” he said. “One Saturday none of us really wanted to practice but we played that song, went in and had a good practice. Since then its been our song.”
Who are we to question the mannerisms of a team that has won nine straight? For the Statesmen Daniel Deaver added 10 points and seven rebounds, while Schlaffer and Lampman had six points apiece. Marshall benefitted from getting to the line ten more times than Edison, and was efficient from three-point range, going 6-11 from the arc.
For Edison Clawson had a great game with 17 points and Marquis Washington added six points, seven rebounds and three assists. Despite the loss and an earlier one to Wakefield this week, the Eagles remain in the thick of the National District race.
all statistics are unofficial
|Threes: J.Clawson 2-7, Hester 1-3, Williams 1-6, Washington 0-2|
|Threes: Robinson 2-3, Lampman 2-3, Schlaffer 2-3, Deaver 0-2|