Playing in their third game of the young season on Friday night, the Marion Giants fell behind early in the first quarter and were unable to recover, as they were defeated by Jack Keefer and the Lawrence North Wildcats 83-63.
With the loss, the Giants fell to 1-2.
Marion’s offense could not get anything in the first quarter and a half, as the Wildcats built a 21-4 lead after the first quarter of play and lead 27-4 with 5:38 remaining in the first half.
Lawrence North held that double-digit advantage the rest of the way.
“I thought we got ourselves in a hole, and it was hard digging ourselves out of it,” Marion Head Coach James Blackmon said. “I thought in the first half, they just killed us on the glass and with second chance points and transition buckets.”
After scoring just 24 points in the first two quarters, Marion played much better basketball in the second half, scoring 39 points, but they were unable to overcome their double-digit deficit.
“In the second half, we just played them even,” Blackmon said. “We didn’t do enough to put ourselves back into position. We [cut their] lead to 14, but we dug ourselves a big hole and it was hard to come out of it tonight.”
Even in the loss, Blackmon was pleased with how his kids fought back, and believes that this performance will help to carry them through the tough early portion of their schedule.
“Our guys never quit,” Blackmon said. “We fought in the second half, and that showed good character within our team. This is a learning experience. It’s still early in the year when you talk about your third game of the season. There is still a lot of room to improve. Tonight was a good wakeup call for us in getting us prepared for tomorrow.”
Jalen Blackmon finished with 26 points for the Giants, while Rasheed Jones collected 23. JK Thomas added 12 points in Marion’s loss.