WEST FRANKFORT -- The Marion Junior High School boys basketball team raced out to an early lead and cruised past West Frankfort's Central Junior High, 51-33, in the semifinals of the SIJHSAA Class L West Frankfort Regional on Tuesday night.
Cooper Thompson and Evan Noelle both hit 3-pointers, Bryson Burgess and Jahmal Portee provided baskets and both Nehemiah Goodman and Zach Baldi contributed free throws as Marion jumped out to a 17-5 lead in the first quarter.
Benja Stone added four points and Thompson hit another trey in the second period as the lead grew to 27-12 at the half.
Thompson and Noelle connected from deep again and Michael Gunn had four points in the third quarter, which ended with the Wildcats leading 43-25.
Goodman finished with 12 points, while Thompson had 11. Burgess had seven and both Noelle and Stone tallied six. Gunn had his four, Baldi chipped in three and Portee had two.
In the other Region 2 semifinal game, Massac County defeated Harrisburg, 67-50, Tuesday night.
Marion and Massac County now meet for the regional championship and a berth in the Class L state quarterfinals on Thursday at 6 p.m.