Marian head coach Mick Stefanek didn't feel his team played as well as it could have in the Panther Valley Tip-Off Tournament.
The Colts let Shenandoah Valley know about it last night.
Marian dominated both offensively and defensively and was in total control of the game from the opening tip, en route to a 71-34 Schuylkill League Division 3 victory over the Blue Devils (1-2).
"We really wanted to come out and make a statement and I'm extremely pleased with the effort tonight. Ever since that Jim Thorpe game (on opening night), I think we've gradually gotten better each game," touted Marian head coach Stefanek. "We had a great first half on the offensive and defensive ends of the court and we were able to jump on them early and put the game out of reach."
Using their pressure defense to force turnovers, the Colts (2-1) quickly ran out to a double-digit lead by converting Shenandoah's miscues into fast-break layups or opportunity jumpers in transition.
Marian exploded to an 18-3 lead after one quarter and swelled the margin to 30-7 at halftime, behind a 16-point effort from senior Matt Yaich.
Meanwhile, the Blue Devils, who didn't get their first field goal until 33 seconds left in the first quarter, shot just 3-for-20 in the first half and had more turnovers (12) than points (7).
The Colts continued their onslaught for the entire third quarter, as Marian poured in 24 more points on 12-for-16 shooting to increase its lead to 54-21. Even more impressive was the fact that eight of Marian's 11 rostered players contributed field goals in the quarter, with point guard Chris Barletta scoring eight points in the frame.
"It was just a real nice effort overall from the starting five to everyone who came in and contributed off the bench," added Stefanek. "It's games like this that allow you to get a good read on your entire team. You always want to have depth on your roster and tonight I was able to get some good looks at some players that can possibly extend our rotation."
Yaich led all scorers with 18 points, while Barletta chipped in 12. Drew Sherkness added eight points and nine rebounds for the Colts.
"We wanted to come after them and create pressure in a half-court setting," stated Stefanek. "We were able to do that effectively tonight, which led to a lot of transition points."
Shenandoah won the JV game, 49-47. Paul Martin led Marian with 15 points.
James 0-0-0-0, Dombrosky 1-0-1-2, Merva 2-0-2-4, Kages 0-0-0-0, Breslosky 2-1-2-5, Savakinas 0-0-0-0, Phillips 0-0-0-0, Singleton 1-1-2-3, Lewis 0-0-0-0, Twardzik 3-0-0-7, Mays 2-0-0-4, Melson 0-0-0-0, O'Connell 3-2-2-8, Rooney 0-1-2-1. TOTALS: 14-5-11-34.
Barletta 5-2-2-12, O'Donnell 2-0-0-5, Stawick 0-0-0-0, Nesgoda 1-0-0-2, Decker 2-0-0-4, Gimbi 3-0-0-6, Gottstein 2-0-0-5, Lack 2-0-0-5, Yaich 8-0-0-18, Sherkness 4-0-1-8, Fital 3-0-1-6. TOTALS: 32-2-4-71.
Shenandoah Vy. 3 4 14 13 - 34
Marian 18 12 24 17 - 71
Three-Pointers: SV - Twardzik 1; M - Yaich 2, O'Donnell 1, Gottstein 1, Lack 1.