Breaking News Bar

Marion tops Benton in 3A regional semis

  • Justin Saddoris scored a career-high 32 points in Tuesday's win over Benton.

    Justin Saddoris scored a career-high 32 points in Tuesday's win over Benton.
    Justin Walker Photo

  • Jaden Lacy leads a break.

    Jaden Lacy leads a break.
    Justin Walker Photo

  • Justin Saddoris

    Justin Saddoris
    Justin Walker Photo

  • Jaden Lacy

    Jaden Lacy
    Justin Walker Photo

  • Jaden Lacy

    Jaden Lacy
    Justin Walker Photo

  • Parker Williams

    Parker Williams
    Justin Walker Photo

  • David Fletcher

    David Fletcher
    Justin Walker Photo

  • Ron Winemiller

    Ron Winemiller
    Justin Walker Photo

  • Parker Williams

    Parker Williams
    Justin Walker Photo

  • Jaden Lacy

    Jaden Lacy
    Justin Walker Photo

  • Hamilton Page

    Hamilton Page
    Justin Walker Photo

  • Hamilton Page and David Fletcher

    Hamilton Page and David Fletcher
    Justin Walker Photo

  • Parker Williams and Terrell Henderson

    Parker Williams and Terrell Henderson
    Justin Walker Photo

  • Terrell Henderson

    Terrell Henderson
    Justin Walker Photo

  • Parker Williams

    Parker Williams
    Justin Walker Photo


  • Justin Walker Photo


  • Justin Walker Photo

 
updated: 2/28/2018 2:33 AM

CARBONDALE -- Justin Saddoris dropped a career-high 32 points and the Marion High School boys basketball team rolled to a 77-53 win over Benton in a semifinal game of the Carbondale 3A Regional on Tuesday night.

Marion (19-11) advances to face Carbondale (21-7) in Friday's championship at 7 p.m.

In the regular season, Carbondale won the first meeting at Marion, while Marion rallied and beat the Terriers in overtime in the rematch.

Benton finished with a 25-6 record.

"Benton's a heck of a team, a team that won 25 games," said Marion coach Gus Gillespie. "I've got the utmost respect for the way their kids play and how well-coached they are by coach (Ron) Winemiller, a great friend of mine and a guy that my wife and I consider a part of our family.

"His kids had a little off night and our kids had an on night and sometimes that can happen. This isn't going to define their season, they played really well. We were just kind of dialed in tonight."

Anyone who expected a tight game got their wish early on as the lead switched sides four times in the opening minutes. But when Jaden Lacy hit a 3-pointer to give the Wildcats a 11-10 lead, it put them ahead to stay.

Saddoris followed that shot with another 3-pointer and Lacy canned a triple at the buzzer to give Marion a 19-14 lead going into the second quarter. Saddoris had nine points and Lacy had eight in those first eight minutes.

Terrell Henderson increased the lead to seven with a putback but the Rangers tied the game at 22 after a basket from Mason Wills and two 3-pointers from Gehrig Wynn.

Here came Saddoris again, however, with a putback of his own miss and possibly the shot of the game after teammate Cole Schafer drilled yet another trey. Marion worked the clock down before the half ended and Saddoris pulled up for a long 3-pointer that gave the Wildcats a 32-23 lead going into the break.

Saddoris had 15 points at the half but wasn't even half done. The senior guard also nailed a triple at the start of the third quarter and converted a putback to make it 39-25.

"He had a big night," Gillespie said. "He was ready to play and distribute the basketball."

Saddoris hit two more 3-pointers and tallied 13 points in the third quarter alone to help take the Wildcats into the fourth quarter with a 52-34 lead. His final field goal made it 59-41 and his last points at the foul line made it 68-46.

"He got open and our big thing was to make him hit a jumper or two and he made some shots and just continued to make them," Winemiller said. "We tried to make some adjustments but by that point he kind of had things rolling."

Lacy finished with 17 points and David Fletcher put in nine points. Schafer had seven and Henderson put in six, including a two-handed dunk in the fourth quarter. Saddoris, Lacy, Fletcher, Schafer and Henderson are all seniors.

"Our kids have been playing with great confidence the last three weeks and practicing better the last month and it's showing in how we play," Gillespie said. "I thought our seniors were really locked in and ready to play. Benton's awfully hard to guard. They can spread you out and they can all shoot it. Our kids had to sit down and guard as hard as they've had to."

Wynn led the Rangers with 20 points and Parker Williams had 17, with eight coming in the fourth quarter. Carson Lewis chipped in seven.

"They played well and we didn't play well," Winemiller said. "As a result of that they beat us 77-53. I thought they played lights out. I thought they were good at both ends and we didn't guard as well. We usually give up 77 in about three games combined. I thought they exploited us when they had a chance and as a result they were the better team tonight."

Benton loses six seniors in Cade Thomas, Hamilton Page, Mason Morris, Brett Bonenberger, Williams and Wynn.

"We're not going to let one game define us," Winemiller said. "But as a result of that, it's over. This time of year, one bad game and it's over."

 
 
Search Carbondale Times