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Mt.Vernon defense sickens another foe


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RUSHVILLE — In sickness or in health, Mt. Vernon is wed to its stifling defense.

With its 59-37 road victory over Rushville Friday, Class 3A No. 2 MV held its 12th straight opponent under 50 points, even with a team-wide flu bug going around.

But, there’s nothing a possible No. 1 ranking can’t remedy.

3A No. 1 Greensburg fell at Batesville 72-65 Friday, meaning the Marauders will likely be ranked No. 1 when the polls are released Monday — provided they can get past Howe tonight.

“It doesn’t mean we stop working,” MV coach Steve Lynch said of his team’s possible elevation to No. 1, “but it’s a nice reward for the hard work.”

The Marauders moved to 11-0 on the year and 4-0 in Hoosier Heritage Conference play, keeping pace with New Palestine, which defeated Pendleton Heights on Michael Morris’ buzzer-beating 3-pointer.

Mt. Vernon would need no such heroics, limiting the Lions to one field goal in two separate quarters Friday in Memorial Gymnasium.

The visitors entered halftime up 28-19, then forced turnovers on Rushville’s first three third-quarter possessions. Those takeaways resulted in six points, the start of a 15-3 MV blitz to begin the period.

After keeping the Lions to six points on a single made shot in the opening frame, the Marauders held the hosts to one field goal and five points in the third quarter.

“We started the game well and had some energy. We lost that energy midway through the first quarter, and came in the second quarter and were solid, but not great,” commented Lynch, who garnered his 90th win at MV. “I thought in the third quarter we really had the energy we were looking for.”

Rushville rallied midway through the second quarter and cut Mt. Vernon’s lead to two at 16-14, but CJ Coleman scored nine straight points to keep MV up at intermission.

Coleman notched 15 of the Marauders’ 17 second-quarter points, and registered 20 of his game-high 24 points in the first half.

“CJ really stepped up with some things in the second quarter and showed some burst, some enthusiasm, both defensively and offensively,” Lynch said of Coleman, who added six rebounds and four steals. “Of course, you notice it when he’s scoring the ball.”

Lynch subbed liberally all night. Eight Marauders saw action in the first quarter, with freshman Michael Thompson making it nine late in the second quarter.

The changeover didn’t affect the MV defense, which forced Rushville into 9-of-36 shooting (25 percent) and 20 turnovers, mostly caused by the visitors’ 13 steals.

Mt. Vernon was also proficient on offense, going 20-of-41 (49 percent) from the field and tallying 14 assists, six of which came from Anthony Burnett.

Burnett tied a season-high with 12 points, and also had a game-best six steals. Stephen Turner had seven points and three assists.

Rushville (4-6, 0-4 HHC) was paced by Hunter Orme’s 10 points.

The Marauders entered Friday atop the 3A Sagarin ratings. With a home win vs. Howe (5-3) — the only common Sectional 26 opponent MV will face in the regular season — they can elevate themselves to the top of the traditional rankings.

“They’re very competitive and very athletic,” Lynch said of Howe. “We’ll have to be ready.

Notes: Rushville won the JV game, 38-28. Zach McKinney led MV with eight points. … No. 9 Guerin Catholic (10-3) and No. 15 Brebeuf (7-5) are also in MV’s sectional. Guerin and Brebeuf meet next Friday. … Coleman has scored in double figures in all but one of the Marauders’ games.

VARSITY

Mt. Vernon 59, Rushville 37

MV — Coleman 8-14 6-6 24, Turner 2-6 2-4 7, Burnett 4-8 3-4 12, Werner 2-4 1-2 7, Spears 2-3 0-0 4, Lohman 0-0 0-0 0, Smith 2-3 0-1 5, Rice 0-0 0-0 0, Thompson 0-2 0-0 0, Wayer 0-1 0-0 0. Totals — 20-41 12-17 59.

RV — Laird 1-5 0-0 3, Niehoff 2-3 0-0 4, Hoeing 2-8 2-2 6, Riddell 0-0 0-2 0, Orme 1-6 8-8 10, Cox 1-6 2-3 5, Al. Yurack 1-6 0-0 3, Au. Yurack 0-0 0-0 0, Dye 1-2 0-0 3, Combs 0-0 0-0 0, Busald 0-0 3-4 3. Totals — 9-36 15-19 37.

SCORE BY QUARTERS

MV (11-0, 4-0 HHC) 11  17  21 10 — 59

RV  (4-6, 0-4 HHC)    6    13   5  13 — 37

Three-pt. field goals: NP 7-14 (Coleman 2-4, Turner 1-1, Burnett 1-3, Werner 2-3, Smith 1-1, Thompson 0-1, Wayer 0-1), RV 4-20 (Laird 1-4, Niehoff 0-1, Hoeing 0-4, Orme 0-2, Cox 1-3, Al. Yurack 1-4, Dye 1-2.

Rebounds: MV 20 (Coleman 6, Turner 2, Burnett 2, Werner 1, Spears 3, Smith 1, Rice 1, Thompson 3, Wayer 1, RV 15 (Laird 3, Niehoff 1, Hoeing 5, Riddell 2, Orme 1, Cox 1, Al. Yurack 2, Busald 1. Assists: MV 14 (Coleman 2, Turner 3, Burnett 5, Werner 1, Spears 1, Lohman 2), RV 6 (Laird 1, Hoeing 1, Riddell 1, Orme 1, Al. Yurack 2). Steals: MV 13 (Coleman 4, Turner 1, Burnett 6, Werner 1, Spears 1), RV 3 (Laird 1, Orme 1, Al. Yurack 1). Blocks: MV 3 (Turner 2, Thompson 1), RV 1 (Cox 1). Total fouls: MV 17, RV 17. Fouled out: Niehoff (RV). Turnovers: MV 10, RV 20.

JV

Rushville 38, Mt. Vernon 28

MV — Wayer 7, Forsythe 2, Hays 5, McKinney 8, Thompson 3, Smith 2, Richardson 1.

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