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MV boys pass big test vs. Noblesville


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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.

On the Marauders’ next two possessions, both Coleman and Anthony Burnett missed pairs of foul shots and before Burnett was fouled, MV had particular trouble getting the ball past midcourt against the Millers’ trap and the hosts had to use time outs.

MV came up with another stop on what would be Noblesville’s final meaningful trip up the court.  Werner sealed it by hitting two free throws.

Werner came up huge beginning in the third quarter, in which he had eight points to help lift the Marauders from a 23-20 halftime deficit to a lead of 35-31 with a period to go.

“It’s the most emotion Dan’s played with in his career at Mt. Vernon,” MV coach Steve Lynch said. “Dan carried us in the second half with his emotion and energy, and it’s neat when you see a kid play with that fire and that emotion.”

The Marauders shot only 42.4 percent and allowed 10 more rebounds than they came up with, but Noblesville’s size and defensive effort had much to do with it, Lynch said.

“But I still think we need to learn how to execute under those circumstances,” he said. “We made the end of the game a lot harder than it needed to be, but at the same time our kids made plays and they didn’t frazzle. And we played through mistakes, which was encouraging to see.”

MV is one of only four unbeatens left in the state and the only such team in 3A, and it clearly sports a bulls eye for its final five regular-season opponents as well as those in the state tournament.

“The kids have been great and the coaching staff has been real good about moving on,” Lynch said. “We obviously have had a good run, but our focus is on Muncie Burris Thursday and we’ll be ready Monday to get after it.”

Notes: Coleman scored 16 in the first half, and also led MV with five rebounds and three steals. … About 30 Marauder basketball alumni, as well as several from schools that were consolidated into MV, gathered at Saturday’s game. The oldest player was David Thomas, from the Fortville High School class of 1939. ... Noblesville beat MV 40-17 in the JV game.

BOYS VARSITY

Mt. Vernon 46, Noblesville 41

NO — Philpott 5-12 4-5 15, Trittipo 3-5 0-0 6, Duncan 2-7 0-2 5, Goodman 1-3 0-0 3, Cory 0-2 0-0 0, Mills 0-4 0-0 0, Scott 4-8 4-5 12, Brinegar 0-1 0-0 0. Totals —  15-42 8-12 41.

MV — Turner 1-3 1-2 3, Spears 2-7 3-3 7, Werner 2-3 7-7 12, Coleman 8-14 5-7 22, Burnett 1-5 0-2 2 Lohman 0-1 0-0 0, Smith 0-0 0-0 0. Totals — 14-33 16-21 46.

SCORE BY QUARTERS

NO (11-5) 16 7 8 10 — 41

MV (15-0) 11 9 15 11 — 46

Three-pt. field goals: NO 3-15 (Philpott 1-4, Duncan 1-3, Goodman 1-2, Mills 0-4, Cory 0-2), MV 2-6 (Coleman 1-2, Werner 1-2, Burnett 0-1, Lohman 0-1).

Rebounds: NO 29 (Philpott 8, Trittipo 6, Scott 5, Duncan 2, Goodman 2, Brinegar 2, Mills 1, Team 3), MV 19 (Coleman 5, Burnett 4, Turner 2, Spears 2, Werner 2, Lohman 1, Team 3). Assists: NO 7 (Philpott 2, Mills 2, Duncan 1, Goodman 1, Cory 1), MV 8 (Burnett 3, Coleman 2, Werner 2, Lohman 1). Steals: NO 4 (Philpott 2, Goodman 1, Brinegar 1), MV 7 (Coleman 3, Burnett 2, Spears 1, Turner 1). Blocks: NO 3 (Trittipo 2, Philpott 1), MV 2 (Spears 2). Total fouls: NO 18, MV 14. Fouled out: None. Turnovers: NO 9, MV 8.

JV

Noblesville 40, Mt.Vernon 17

MV — Wayer 4, Powell 3, Forsythe 2, Hays 2, McKinney 2, Smith 2, Vestal 2.

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