Both head coaches for Marian and Williams Valley expressed that they were happy with their team's effort at halftime last night. The Colts and Vikings were knotted at 24 a piece in what was a big mid-season Schuylkill League test for both squads.
However, when the horn sounded for the third quarter it was the Vikings that made the plays in the second half to come away with the 60-48 Schuylkill League victory.
Marian got out to a good start, leading Williams Valley by eight after one. The Vikings could only manage one field goal in the quarter and did not do a good job of defending Marian's pick and role offense.
"Anytime you play on the road, especially against a good team you run the risk of playing cold early on," said Williams Valley coach Denny Kasper. "So, we came out cold and didn't play well in that first quarter, but then about the middle of the second we started to settle into our game a little bit. I was proud of the way the guys hung around there and then tied it half. I always feel that if your within striking distance on the road at half you have a chance to win."
That's exactly what the Vikings did, going on a 10-1 run to tie things up at 24. The Vikings run was aided by sharp shooter Dennis Jensen, who hit back-to back treys to bring them within one. A Brendan Miller bucket inside then tied the game at half.
The third is where things started to go Williams Valley's way.
The Vikings showed their toughness in the second half, taking the lead over the Colts 35-33 with about 2:45 left in the third quarter. The Marian offense, which has been their achilles heel so far this season began to shut down a bit. Turnovers also plagued the Colts, with them turning it over 18 times in the ball game.
"We ran into some problems there in the second half when we went to man. We threw a 1-2-2 zone at them to try to slow them down in the first half, but once we got down a few points and switched defenses they just took advantage of us," said Marian coach John Patton. "We also just turned the ball over too many times. It wasn't just turning the ball over to turn the ball over either, it happened on key possessions. They also scored points off of our turnovers, which is a problem when you're playing against a good team."
Williams Valley kept up the effort in the fourth and ended up going on a 20-10 run to take a 50-40 lead with 3:20 remaining. Marian would then close within eight a minute later, but that's the closest they would get, dropping the Schuylkill League contest by 12. The Vikings shot 7-for-14 in the fourth to cement the win.
"Moving forward we have to protect the ball better and we have to play better offensively," said Patton. "The key is the better you play on offense, the better your defense becomes because your not playing so many defensive possessions. This is one to learn from, but the keys from tonight are we have to protect the ball better and we need to be able to finish."
Jensen scored all of his 16 points after the first quarter to lead Williams Valley. Owen Daniel and Brendan Miller chipped in with 14 and 11 a piece.
For Marian Ryan Karnish scored a game-high 23 points, while Alden Whah added 11.
Jansen 6-0-1-16, Daniel 5-2-3-14, B. Miller 2-6-10-11, Rautzhan 3-1-2-7, Sedese 2-2-2-6, Harrison 2-0-0-4, Rodichock 1-0-0-2. TOTALS: 21-11-18-60.
R. Karnish 9-1-2-23, Whah 4-3-4-11, A. Agosti 3-2-4-8, Swankoski 1-3-5-5, Richards 0-1-2-1, M. Karnish 0-0-0-0, Bilka 0-0-0-0, Damian 0-0-0-0, Talbott 0-0-0-0. TOTALS: 17-10-17-48.
Williams Vy. 7 17 17 19 - 60
Marian 15 9 11 13 - 48
Three-pointers: WV - Jansen 4, Daniel 2, Miller 1; M - Karnish 4.