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John Marshall Boys Outlast Weir, 56-50

Photo by Cody Tomer John Marshall’s Roman Gray races down the court to beat the defense during Friday night’s victory over visiting Weir.

MOUNDSVILLE — Game management in the fourth quarter is crucial in any game and John Marshall’s boys’ basketball team perfected it on Friday night.

The Monarchs ran close to two and a half minutes off the clock with under 4 minutes to play and Derrick Derrow scored 14 of his 25 points in the final frame as John Marshall upended visiting Weir 56-50.

Grant Nieswonger also provided a strong inside presence for the Monarchs as he recorded a double-double of 19 points and 10 rebounds.

“We probably drained 2:30 of the last 4 minutes out in the halfcourt,” JM coach Chad Clutter said. “I thought our game management toward the end was pretty good and that’s what I’ll chip our win up to.”

Derrow knocked down five of his seven free throws in the fourth but did most of his damage at the rim.

“He did most of his work there at the end,” Clutter said of Derrow’s fourth quarter performance. “They struggled to have a guard strong enough to guard him when we put him in the post.

“He’s pretty difficult to guard when he gets that close.”

Weir coach Anthony Santangelo also acknowledged Derrow’s strong finish at the bucket.

“Derrow got to the cup very easily,” Santangelo said. “I probably put that on my shoulders where I should have done something different. Maybe I should have changed something up and put some pressure on. But, our shot selection was bad, too. We’d get a steal and just pull up for a 3 and not really take it to the hole. (Nieswonger) killed us, too.”

Weir delivered a strong first quarter, outscoring JM 13-6 but the Monarchs used an 11-0 run in the second to rally and take a 16-15 edge.

With the game deadlocked as the end of the half was nearing, Weir’s Tyler Kelly drained a 3 to put the Red Riders up 35-32 at the break.

The third quarter was even for the most part with Weir taking a 38-36 lead into the fourth. Nieswonger bucketed eight of his 19 points in the third before Derrow took over the game in the final frame to secure the victory.

“Nieswonger had a great game,” Clutter said. “He had a double-double inside. He doesn’t do anything fancy, he’s just hard to get around and they didn’t have the bodies to deal with him inside. We were thankful we took advantage of him inside.”

Anthony Cross paced Weir with 14 points and Kelly tallied 13 for the Red Riders.

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