By LARRY HYPES
Bluefield Daily Telegraph
TAZEWELL, Va. —
Refuse to lose was Marion’s mantra Friday night.
The Hurricane was scarlet hot at the free throw line, hitting 21-of-27 to take away a 74-67 Southwest District triumph over Tazewell Friday. Ethan Richardson and Trey Cook combined for 46 points for the Scarlet Hurricane.
Tazewell led 57-56, after three quarters, as Jalen Jordan sailed in for lay-up that dropped through as fell in a tangle with a Marion player at the buzzer. Noah Walker extended the lead to three before Richardson nailed a trey to tie it up and then Cook hit a three-ball.
Jordan put THS in front one last time with a freebie with just over four minutes to play but MHS outscored the cool shooting Bulldogs 12-4 from that point.
Jordan took game scoring honors with 26 for Tazewell (5-8, 0-2) but it was not enough to overcome Marion’s late-game consistency.
“We have to remember that we have ‘Tazewell’ as a team on our shirts,” sighed a disappointed THS coach Lee Walker. “We have to recognize when we have another team in a good position. We cannot start playing the other guys’ game.
“Until we play together and play our game we are not going to get to where we want to be. We can play, we have to play, better than we did tonight.”
Noah Walker finished with 12 points and 10 rebounds with three blocked shots in just slightly more than two quarters. The Bulldog junior was taken out with three fouls at the 2:43 mark of the opening quarter.
Jordan said, “We just did not make smart plays tonight. We gave up open shots, and didn’t find each other when we needed to. We have a better team than this – we just have to come out and show it.”
Colin Hancock made four three pointers for Tazewell, finishing with 12 points, five steals and six assists. Jordan grabbed six rebounds. Christian Lewis had seven rebounds and Jesse Mountain got six boards for the Bulldogs.
Marion coach Chad Bailey noted, “I think we have the most athletic team in Southwest Virginia and I am so proud of them for their effort tonight. This was a game we could have easily lost but we jumped in there and made some big plays with the issue on the line.
“We played a heartbreaker last year and then came back later. Our guys played aggressive, smart ball tonight when we had to make things happen.”
Tazewell plays at Oak Hill Academy today at 2 p.m. against the Red Team at Mouth of Wilson, Va. and the Bulldogs host Abingdon Tuesday in SWD action.
At Tazewell Middle School
MARION (8-2, 1-0)
Nick Stiefel 5, Riley Blevins 1, Hunter Lefler 6, Ethan Richardson 24, Trey Cook 22, Sam Lincoln 2, Brendon Alford 14.
TAZEWELL (5-7, 2-2)
Isaac Santana 2, Jalen Jordan 26, Christian Lewis 2, Noah Walker 12, Colin Hancock 12, Tanner Catron 6, Jesse Mountain 7.
Marion..............................10 27 19 18 — 74
Tazewell...........................12 20 25 10 — 67
Three-point goals – MAR 7 (Richardson 3, Cook 3, Lefler 1). TAZ 7 (Hancock 4, Catron 2, Mountain 1). Fouled out – none.