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Coleman's offensive talents lead MV over Whiteland


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FORTVILLE — Top of the key three. Floater in the lane. Elbow jumper. Transition lay-up.

CJ Coleman had it all working Tuesday night. The junior point guard scored a career-high 28 points to pace 3A No. 10 Mt. Vernon to a 57-44 season-opening victory over visiting Whiteland Tuesday night.

Stephen Turner added 18 points and 10 rebounds for the Marauders, who recorded 11 assists on 18 made shots and converted 17 of 18 free-throw attempts.

“It was an opener. There are a lot of things to work on,” MV coach Steve Lynch said. “I thought our energy was really good. The group we have, they understand how to compete. It was encouraging. I thought we did a nice job.”

MV never trailed against the Warriors, jumping out to a 9-2 lead. The Marauders — who were sporting new uniforms — led 11-7 after the first quarter.

Whiteland neared to within two at 15-13 on John Hubler’s bucket, but the black-and-gold responded with an 8-0 run. Coleman and Turner, the team’s leading returning scorers at 16.9 and 11.4 points per game, respectively, contributed four points apiece during the spurt.

The Warriors trailed 29-17 at halftime, but responded with four three’s and an old-fashioned three-point play in the third quarter. MV weathered the flurry thanks to Coleman, who tallied nine points in the frame. The hosts were ahead 43-36 ending the final eight minutes.

It was Coleman who put the visitors away early in the fourth quarter with a four-point play. He was fouled whilst releasing a shot from distance. The shot went in, and Coleman flashed a Cheshire Cat smile before sinking the freebie to lift the Marauders to a 47-38 advantage.

Coleman deferred acclaim, pointing to his teammates’ unselfishness, which was headlined by Anthony Burnett’s six assists.

“My teammates got me open shots and I was strong around the basket,” offered Coleman, who had six of his team’s nine steals.

Lynch noted a subtle enhancement in his floor leader’s game.

“His teammates did nice job of finding him,” explained Lynch, now in his seventh season at MV. “The biggest area he’s improved on is cutting. He’s cutting without the basketball, which makes him hard to guard.”

Whiteland, operating under first-year coach Matt Wadsworth, was content to launch from deep against the Marauders’ 2-3 zone. However, it made only eight of its 28 three-point attempts.

MV limited the Warriors to single digits in the first quarter (seven points) and fourth quarter (eight points). Whiteland attempted just four free throws, making two.

Lynch’s squad now turns its attention to its Nov. 30 tussle with Michigan recruit Zak Irvin and 4A No. 7 Hamilton Southeastern, which defeated Fishers 81-61 in its first game Tuesday.

Mt. Vernon passed its first test Tuesday. Now, it looks ahead to the next challenge in its early-season gauntlet, as 4A powers Pendleton Heights and New Castle await Coleman and his cronies after HSE.

“It was very exciting,” Coleman said. “We were ready to play. My teammates all played hard and we got the job done.”

Notes: Burnett (five points), Dan Werner (four points) and Alec Lohman (two points) were the only other players to score for MV. … Ethan Wilson (11 points) and Kyle Alford (10 points) paced Whiteland, who welcomes Greenfield-Central (0-1) Saturday. … The Marauders outrebounded the Warriors 23-12. … Injured MV reserves Lucas Rice and Zach Spears are expected to play against HSE. … Whiteland won the JV game 43-28. Freshman Michael Thompson led MV with 15 points.

Mt. Vernon 57, Whiteland 44

WH — Fruits 2-5 0-0 5, Hall 3-5 0-0 7, Wilson 4-8 0-0 11, Buergelin 0-0 0-0 0, Allen 0-1 0-0 0, Stidham 0-1 0-0 0, Woehler 0-0 0-0 0, Alford 3-12 2-2 10, Davis 4-10 0-2 8, Hubler 1-6 0-0 3. Totals —  17-48 2-4 44.

MV — Turner 6-10 6-6 18, Coleman 9-15 7-7 28, Burnett 1-6 2-2 5, Werner 1-4 2-3 4, Smith 0-0 0-0 0, Lohman 1-2 0-0 2, Wayer 0-2 0-0 0. Totals — 18-39 17-18 57.

SCORE BY QUARTERS

WH (0-1) 7 10 19 8 — 44

MV (1-0) 11 18 14 14 — 57

Three-pt field goals: WH 8-28 (Fruits 1-1, Hall 1-3, Wilson 3-7, Allen 0-1, Alford 2-9, Davis 0-1, Hubler 1-6), MV 4-9 (Coleman 3-5, Burnett 1-1, Werner 0-1, Lohman 0-1, Wayer 0-1).

Rebounds: WH 12 (Fruits 4, Hall 3, Wilson 2, Alford 3), MV 23 (Turner 10, Coleman 3, Burnett 4, Werner 3, Smith 1, Lohman 2). Assists: WH 8 (Fruits 3, Hall 1, Buergelin 1, Alford 2, Davis 1), MV 11 (Coleman 2, Burnett 6, Werner 1, Smith 1, Lohman 1). Steals: WH 6 (Fruits 2, Stidham 1, Alford 1, Davis 2), MV 9 (Coleman 6, Burnett 1, Werner 1, Lohman 1). Blocks: WH 0, MV 1 (Werner). Total fouls: WH 12, MV 11. Fouled out: Fruits (WH). Turnovers: WH 12, MV 11.

JV

Whiteland 43, Mt. Vernon 28

MV — Hays 3, Thompson 15, Deckard 4, Christenson 6

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