INDIANAPOLIS — The Class 4A Mt. Vernon Marauders had a heyday behind the arc in Friday night’s match up against the 2A Covenant Christian Warriors.
It was one 3-pointer after another, with not just one, not just two, but three Marauders totaling five threes in Mt. Vernon’s 78-48 rout of Covenant Christian.
The Marauders took a little to get off the ground with some turnover errors to start the game, but once the offense got rolling the defense followed suit.
“In the second half, we were just more aware and made life more difficult,” Mt. Vernon head coach Travis Daugherty said. “I think our offense and defense fed off each other which obviously led to a really good half of basketball.”
The Marauders finished going 47 percent from the 3-point line. They totaled 18 threes throughout the game with Brandon Bell, Damari Gatewood and Keith Rupert draining five each.
While the trio held up their end of the bargain dutifully, Daugherty said it is what happens before the shot that will make them good.
“When we’re really good, we’re sharing the ball and helping one another,” he said. “For a lot of those, making the shot to end it was the easy part. It was the guy making the pass that got the assist that really did the hard work.”
After a 31-28 lead at halftime, the Marauders came out with a fire that the Warriors simply could not handle. A few Covenant Christian turnovers and a Gatewood and Rupert trey kicked off the half.
Another drive by Logan Smith gave Mt. Vernon their biggest lead of the game at that point, 39-28. From then on, the closest the Warriors got was seven points.
The three-point halftime lead turned into 30 by the fourth-quarter buzzer as the Marauders (3-0) notched their third win of the season.
“We just played sharper in the second half,” Daugherty said. “Credit to Webb and Grant, those guys are both really talented and made a lot of plays in the first half. But we didn’t really take away their primary stuff in the first half.”
Right out of the gate, Gatewood turned on his attack. He arched three 3-pointers in the first five minutes of the game. But Covenant Christian was hanging right in there.
While Warrior Jordan Webb wasn’t in the starting five, he came out with eight points in the first quarter and finished with 20. A few threats were not enough to dance with the Marauders, however.
“I hope we continue to become harder to guard because we have so many guys that can make plays,” Daugherty said. “On a typical team, if you stop A, B and C, you have a pretty good chance to win. I would love for everybody on our team to have an A, B, C mentality.”
Mt. Vernon had 38 points from the bench. Bell, Rupert and Gatewood all finished with 19 points. Peyton Meadors ended with 10, Logan Smith had six and Cade Gentry had five. The Marauders didn’t shoot any free throws.
While Gatewood kicked off the game with threes, Rupert spread his out throughout the last three quarters, and Bell ended the night going 4-for-4 from the arc in the fourth quarter. He finished 7-for-10 on the night.
The Marauder depth has won them their first three games of the season as they head into a home game against 4A Decatur Central tonight at 7:30 p.m.