Werner's 'emotion' lifts 3A No. 1 Marauders

FORTVILLE — A battle-tested and very big Noblesville boys basketball team provided a perfect test for Class 3A No. 1 Mt. Vernon Saturday night.

Sure enough, the Millers did their best to throw the unbeaten Marauders off their game by pressing and limiting their transition opportunities.

But MV was able to overcome those obstacles, as well a few of their own making, and win 46-41 to improve to 15-0.

CJ Coleman scored a game-high 22 points and sophomore Dan Werner added a season-best 12 as the Marauders prevailed despite putting up their lowest total of the year and winning by the second-narrowest margin.

“This was a big game for us and it let us know how good we really are,” Coleman said. “We have to stay tough the second part of the season because we struggled the second part of last season.”

And the Marauders had to show their grit over the final three minutes like they had to very few times this season, because 4A Noblesville — with a front-line rotation that includes two players 6-feet-7 and another 6-5 — wasn’t going away.

MV led this always-tight contest 42-35, its largest of the night, at the 3-minute mark, but the Millers (11-5) roared back with six straight points within a minute and had the home crowd in the nearly-full gym on edge.

Noblesville had a chance to go ahead for the first time since early in the second half, but Coleman came up with a steal, was fouled and made two free throws to make it a 44-41 game.

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