Marauders 2-0 at Martinsville Classic


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MARTINSVILLE — Halfway through the regular season and, all things considered, the defending state champ Mt. Vernon girls basketball team is sitting pretty.

With a 2-0 sweep at the Martinsville Classic on Saturday, the Marauders improved to 9-2 — the same mark they had a year ago through 11 games in a season that ended with a Class 3A state title.

Bumped to 4A this year, Mt. Vernon is prepping for a potentially even tougher postseason run. Toward that end, the Marauders got a challenge at Martinsville from a pair of 4A programs before prevailing 52-44 over the host Artesians in the opener and 57-53 over Plainfield to finish the day.

“That’s what I expected,” MV coach Julie Shelton. “These are both 4A, strong teams. I mean they’re not at the top, top (of 4A), but for where we’re at right now, this is pretty good competition for us.

“So, I was pretty pleased, really.”

The Marauders are down three starters from last season — two to graduation and another in Erica Moore to a knee injury.

A relatively young group led by Sydney Shelton and Olivia Coleman paced MV in Martinsville.

Shelton, a sophomore who has already attracted significant NCAA Division I attention, had a game-high 21 points, including 14 in the first half to stake MV to a 26-22 lead.

The Artesians (5-6) tied the contest at 32-32 late in the third quarter and were within 38-37 early in the fourth. But a runner down the left side of the lane by Shelton and a 3-pointer by Maddie Walrod put MV in front 43-37 and it controlled the rest of the action.

Versus Plainfield, the Marauders again needed four quarters of determined play to notch the win.

Coleman’s 12 first-quarter points fueled MV to an early 23-17 advantage, but the Quakers hung around, trailing 53-49 with two minutes remaining.

Coleman and Shelton combined to make 4-of-6 free throw attempts down the stretch to hold off Plainfield (7-4).

“We continued to fight,” coach Shelton said. “We had a lot of letdowns, but instead of losing our composure we kept fighting back. We’d get a good lead and lose it, but we’d always fight right back.

“And the best part about today, we had a number of kids do that. We had five or six kids who had some big steals or had some big buckets or big rebounds, and we’re going to need that.”

Coleman finished the second game with a career-high 23 points. She finished the day with 35 points, 22 rebounds, six steals and five assists.

Shelton contributed 18 points to the win over Plainfield, and sophomore Ariana Sandefur chipped in 10 points.

Against Martinsville, MV sophomore Sadie Baugh added eight points and eight rebounds.

Coleman’s emergence is good news for an offense that was extraordinarily dependent on Shelton, the sophomore guard, at the start of the season.

“She’s been playing better,” coach Shelton said of Coleman, who missed all but two games last season with a knee injury. “I think in like our last three or four or five games, she’s been leading scorer or leading rebounder in two or three of them. So she’s really starting to come along and get the idea that she’s a pretty darn good player.”

Also trending upward for the Marauders is the health of Moore, an Indiana Junior All-Star center last year. She had surgery Nov. 1 and has missed the entire season, but Shelton said Moore is nearing a return.

“I’d say hopefully we’d get her back to play a few minutes by Shelbyville (Jan. 18),” the coach said.

Walrod and Baugh are also recent returnees to the lineup following nagging injuries.

A healthy unit led by a trio of Shelton-Moore-Coleman would make MV a tough out in the state tourney, even at the 4A level.

“For the injuries we’ve had and kids coming back … yeah, I’m pretty happy with where we are,” coach Shelton said. “Especially as young as we are, I do think some of our sophomores are getting a little worn out so we’re going to have to give ourselves a little break before we start the second half of the season.”

Notes: The four games at Martinsville were pre-determined and no consolation or championship games were held, although MV was the only squad to go 2-0. Jennings County (5-5) beat Plainfield in the other morning game, 71-55; then Martinsville beat JC 63-41 in the evening session. … Martinsville and Plainfield compete in Sectional 12, which will feed into the same regional as Mt. Vernon’s Sectional 9 winner. … Mt. Vernon is off until Saturday when Richmond (7-5) visits Fortville. Richmond is a common Sectional 9 foe. Connersville hosts Sectional 9 this year.

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Martinsville Classic

Mt. Vernon 52, Martinsville 44

MV — Shelton 9-16 1-2 21, Duff 1-3 1-2 4, Stricker 0-0 0-0 0, Sandefur 1-7 0-0 2, Baugh 3-5 2-2 8, Walrod 2-3 0-0 5, Coleman 4-16 4-4 12. Totals — 20-50 8-10 52.

MA — Peeden 2-9 4-7 10, Dailey 1-3 0-0 2, Fisher 4-8 2-2 10, Teeters 1-3 0-0 3, Ferguson 5-12 0-0 11, Elliott 2-5 2-2 6, Martin 1-6 0-0 2. Totals — 16-46 8-11 44.

SCORE BY QUARTERS

MV            17  9   10  16  — 52

MA (5-6)  15  7   13    9  — 44

Three-pt. field goals: MV 4-13 (Shelton 2-3, Duff 1-3, Sandefur 0-3, Walrod 1-2, Coleman 0-2). MA 4-21 (Peeden 2-6, Dailey 0-2, Fisher 0-1, Teeters 1-3, Ferguson 1-5, Martin 0-4).

Rebounds: MV 27 (Shelton 4, Duff 2, Sandefur 2, Baugh 8, Walrod 2, Coleman 9), MA 25 (Peeden 8, Dailey 2, Fisher 1, Teeters 3, Ferguson 7, Elliott 2, Martin 2). Assists: MV 4 (Shelton 2, Coleman 2), MA 7 (Fisher 2, Ferguson 3, Elliott 1, Martin 1). Steals: MV 10 (Shelton 2, Sandefur 3, Walrod 2, Coleman 3), MA 13 (Ferguson 2, Martin 2). Blocks: MV 0, MA 6 (Fisher 6). Total fouls: MV 10, MA 14. Fouled out: Duff (MV). Turnovers: MV 13, MA 14.

 

Mt. Vernon 57, Plainfield 53

MV — Shelton 5-14 7-9 18, Duff 2-5 0-0 4, Stricker 0-0 0-0 0, Sandefur 4-9 0-0 10, Baugh 1-1 0-1 2, Walrod 0-1 0-0 0, Coleman 10-18 2-4 23. Totals — 22-48 9-14 57.

PL — Wilson 0-6 0-0 0, Shurig 0-1 0-1 0, Blackwell 3-10 1-2 7, Spears 3-5 1-2 7, Ferrell 4-4 4-9 12, Reeder 4-8 2-4 10, Dostin 3-10 0-0 8, Gilmore 0-1 0-0 0, Casteel 3-9 0-0 9. Totals — 20-54 8-18 53.

SCORE BY QUARTERS

MV (9-2)  23 11  13  10  — 57

PL (7-4)   17   5  18   13 — 53

Three-pt. field goals: MV 4-8 (Shelton 1-2, Duff 0-1, Sandefur 2-4, Coleman 1-1). PL 5-19 (Wilson 0-4, Blackwell 0-2, Dostin 2-7, Casteel 3-6).

Rebounds: MV 29 (Shelton 3, Duff 4, Sandefur 3, Baugh 4, Walrod 2, Coleman 13), PL 33 (Wilson 3, Shurig 1, Blackwell 7, Spears 2, Ferrell 7, Reeder 6, Dostin 1, Gilmore 1, Casteel 5). Assists: MV 10 (Shelton 2, Sandefur 3, Baugh 2, Coleman 3), PL 4 (Blackwell 1, Ferrell 1, Reeder 1, Casteel 1). Steals: MV 11 (Shelton 1, Duff 1, Sandefur 1, Baugh 3, Walrod 1, Coleman 4), PL 7 (Wilson 1, Reeder 1, Dostin 1, Casteel 4). Blocks: MV 0, MA 0. Total fouls: MV 18, PL 18. Fouled out: None. Turnovers: MV 17, PL 15.

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