FORTVILLE — The Mt. Vernon Marauders win as a team — and they lose as a team.
The collective depth the Class 4A Marauders showed in their first four wins of the season but did not produce the same offensive onslaught in their fifth and sixth games.
The Marauders fell 69-57 to the Class 4A Shelbyville Golden Bears on Friday night in their second overall Hoosier Heritage Conference loss.
But this is when the team sees what they’re made of.
“A game like this demands a unique collective toughness that we’re still developing,” Mt. Vernon head coach Travis Daugherty said. “I hope this will be an opportunity to accept that challenge and be ready next time we’re in a game like this.”
Similar to their first loss against Pendleton Heights, the Marauder offense could not find the net while collecting one too many turnovers and one too few rebounds.
“When the game was in the balance, we tried to do it right but credit to them for the way they played,” Daugherty said. “When they had the opportunity, they made a lot more than we did.”
The back-and-forth first half turned into a Shelbyville-dominant second half. The Marauders went up two after the first quarter then went down by two by halftime. Marauder Tyler Bostic found four quick points in the first few minutes while Logan Smith had four more at the start of the second quarter.
But the Marauders gave away an 8-point lead when the Golden Bears went on an 11-point streak for three minutes in the second quarter.
Again Mt. Vernon took the lead 31-28 after they were down 24-26 at half. But Mt. Vernon only scored a Cade Gentry 3-pointer to Shelbyville’s 16 points — mainly led by Bear Zach Kuhn.
“I thought our offense was better tonight,” Daugherty said. “We got a lot of good shots, we made none of them.”
Their eight-point deficit after the third quarter turned into a 12-point deficit by the buzzer.
They still fought to the end with two Damari Gatewood 3-pointers and an impressive block, a few Bostic and Peyton Meadors layups and Smith shots. But Bear Kuhn’s 24 points and Brock Blackwell’s 20 points was too much for the team.
Shelbyville moves to 5-2, 2-1 HHC while Mt. Vernon falls to 4-2, 0-2 HHC. They turn around and play another home game tonight against Class 3A Rushville.
“After a game like this, it’s good to play quickly so you have a chance to just play better,” Daugherty said. “I hope we show some resilience.”