Ball movement, defense lead MHS past Davidson


Marysville’s Garrett Taylor goes up for a basket against Hilliard Davidson on Friday. Taylor tallied 20 points during the Monarchs’ 54-36 victory. (Journal-Tribune photo by Tim Miller)

Still unbeaten in OCC
There are times when a basketball team has to go back over some refresher courses, of sorts, in order to get back on track.
It’s a tactic that certainly worked for the Marysville Monarchs on Friday as they defeated Hilliard Davidson, 54-36.
The victory improved MHS’ Ohio Capital Conference Central Division record to 5-0 and its overall mark to 6-3.
“We went back into the film room to watch our previous two games,” said MHS head coach Ryan Grose. “We saw opportunities we missed when we didn’t share the ball very well.”
It was a lesson well-learned for the Monarchs as they “shared the sugar” and moved the ball around to open shooters against the Davidson Wildcats.
Senior point guard Joey Duke orchestrated the unselfish nature of the offense as he finished the game with nine assists.
A good deal of his assistance went to post player Garrett Taylor.
Duke got the ball down low to Taylor for a number of the big man’s game-high 20 points.
While Gross was pleased with the Monarchs’ work at that end of the floor, he was quick to cite their endeavors in the opposite direction.
“It all starts with our defense,” he said. “Anytime you can hold a team to 34 points, that in turn will open offensive opportunities.”
Both teams struggled on offense during the early moments of the contest.
Baskets by Taylor and Jack Christian gave MHS a 4-0 lead.
The scoreboard remained motionless for the next few minutes as both teams came up with empty possessions.
Spencer Mills opened up a 7-2 Monarch margin with a trifecta.
Christian then added a couple of free throws for a 9-2 lead.
The Wildcats didn’t get back on the scoreboard until Jonathan Weir hit a basket along the baseline.
Ryan Barlow nailed a jumper and Taylor scored on the offensive glass as the Monarchs took a 13-4 lead into the ensuing period.
Weir scored two baskets against defensive pressure to knock Davidson’s deficit down to 13-8.
Duke found Taylor open for buckets that gave Marysville a bit of breathing room (17-8) with 5:28 left until the halftime break.
It was obvious the Wildcats weren’t going to roll over and play dead.
Graham McClellan was credited with a traditional three-point play and Weir converted a steal into a layup.
With less than five minutes until the turn, Davidson had pulled to within 17-13.
Duke hit a basket and later assisted on Kade Focht’s bucket that pushed MHS out to a 21-15 spread.
Christian opened the margin up with a three-pointer.
Taylor then benefitted from two more assists by Duke.
Those baskets sent Marysville into the break with a 28-15 lead.
Shots from Christian and Mills sparked MHS to a 33-19 lead once play resumed.
Everyone in Monarch Nation could now relax, right?
Not so fast.
MHS managed just five points during the third period.
A pair of buckets from Daniel Neidert were followed by Kyle Grolle’s trifecta at the buzzer.
By the time the fourth quarter began, the Wildcats had pulled to within 33-26.
The Monarchs, however, refused to panic.
Free throws by Christian and Mills padded the home team’s lead at 36-28.
McClellan hit a couple of three-balls that pulled the Cats to within 38-34 within the first two minutes of the final stanza.
Duke found Taylor for a bucket, Christian sank a free throw and Gabe Schaeffer drove the lane for a shot that pushed MHS’ lead to 43-34.
Another basket by Taylor – on a Duke assist – gave the Monarchs a 45-34 margin as the timer neared the three-minute mark.
Schaeffer tossed the ball to Taylor for a 48-36 lead and by this time, Davidson had to foul to regain possession.
MHS was in the double bonus when Christian’s charity tosses gave it a 50-36 lead with 2:08 to play.
Christian, who was nine-of-10 from the stripe, cashed in on two more free throws and Taylor scored to give the Monarchs their 18-point margin of victory.
Taylor 10-0-20, Christian 3-9-16, Mills 2-1-6, Duke 1-1-3, E. Brown 1-1-3, Schaeffer 1-0-2, Focht 1-0-2, Barlow 1-0-2, N. Brown 0-0-0. Totals 20-12-54.
Three-point goals: Christian 1, Mills 1.
Hilliard Davidson
McClellan 3-3-11, Weir 5-0-10, Grolle 2-2-7, Neidert 2-0-4, Humphrey 1-0-2, Koppenhoeffer 1-0-2, Goins 0-0-0, Fantin 0-0-0. Totals 14-5-36.
Three-point goals: McClellan 2, Grolle 1.
MHS’ jayvee squad beat the Jr. Wildcats, 51-44.
Focht tallied 17 points and Nick Kessler added 10.
The Monarch frosh fell to Davidson, 52-48.
Nick Wever led the freshmen with 15 points.

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