University Edges John Marshall

Monarchs execute plays, but basket unfriendly

John Marshal’s Avery Derrow dribbles the ball down court during the Monarchs game against Univeristy Wednesday night. Photo by Cody Tomer

MOUNDSVILLE — The Monarchs executed the plays they needed but in the end the basket was unfriendly to the hosts, who dropped a nail-biter to University on Wednesday by a score of 64-62 at the Moundsville Field House.

Grace Frohnapfel attempted a 3-pointer with 12 seconds left in the game that would have given John Marshall (5-4) a two-point lead but the ball rimmed out.

Then, after University’s TaShala Turner connected on one of two free-throws, John Marshall’s Kaylee McMullen drove to the bucket and put up a shot that just missed dropping through the cylinder as the buzzer sounded, giving University (5-4) the narrow road victory.

“If we rewind the clocks a couple weeks, we never executed our plays in tight spots,” John Marshall coach Brock Melko said. “Even though we lost this game, every time we had a set play to run or when we needed a stop, I really think we did it.

“It shows that we are getting better but I guess we just needed to lose and get through this one together.”

Although, McMullen was unable to get the game-tying shot to drop, she did her part with two timely steals in the final 42 seconds of the game to go along with a pair of foul shots in the final minute to put the Monarchs within one-point. She also battled illness throughout the game as well.

“McMullen was as sick as a dog,” Melko said. “She is our captain and our leader and I tend to put too much on her shoulders when things go wrong but I think that might have paid off tonight. She had every reason to shut down and feel sorry for herself but she got steals, made a 3-pointer, hit two huge free-throws and did exactly what I wanted her to do on that final play. It just didn’t fall.”

John Marshall actually held a 36-30 lead at halftime and a 50-44 edge going into the fourth quarter but University opened the final frame with seven consecutive points, capped off by a 3-pointer from Zoe Murphy to give the Hawks a 51-50 advantage.

Both teams swapped buckets until University’s Mackenna Strait broke a 55-55 tie with 3:30 left in the game, with a layup to give her squad a lead it would not surrender.

On the ensuing Monarchs possession, Avery Derrow gathered a steal and found teammate Ivy Henderson on a two-on-one breakaway, who finished with the basket to extend the University lead to 59-55.

Moments later, Henderson struck again, this time from behind the arch to give the Hawks breathing room at 62-57.

“We got the ball where it needed to be to get some easy baskets,” University coach David Price said. “I am proud of our girls to go into the half down and fight until the end to get the win.”

University opened the gates with a 6-0 lead to start the game and led 14-8 at the end of the first quarter.

The Hawks led 18-10 at the 6:43 mark in the second when the Monarchs reeled off nine straight points to take a 19-18 edge and the momentum.

John Marshall closed the first half on a 4-0 run and opened the second half on a 6-0 run to collect a 42-30 lead and but the Hawks scoring streak to open the fourth erased the deficit in a hurry.

“I told the team before the game that there would probably be some runs,” Melko said. “We knew they were going to make a run but I was thinking if we could have made a little spurt and get the lead up to 20, I thought we could have ended it then. To their credit, they played very hard the whole game and came out on top.”

John Marshall turned the ball over 21 times and University committed 25 miscues.

“We have to protect the ball much better,” Price said. “We threw it away at times but we are young. At times we played with three freshmen on the court. We have to settle in a move the ball without the dribble but it was still a good job by our kids. They never quit.”

Another factor in the Hawks win was their ability to control the glass as they won the rebound battle 35-20.

John Marshall was led by Frohnapfel who tallied 19 points, followed by Derrow who turned in 11, Strait who supplied 10, Shay Straughn who recorded nine and Henderson who added eight.

Turner paced University with 18, Murphy provided 13 and Chloe Mollohan scored 12 in the win.

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