Another defensive lockdown sinks Connersville

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FORTVILLE — Mt. Vernon allowed 14 points to Connersville in the second quarter of a boys basketball matchup Friday. For many teams, that’s a pretty decent effort. For the lockdown and Class 3A No. 1-ranked Marauders, giving up 14 points in a quarter counts as a defensive lapse.

It was a momentary glitch in what has been a perfect season, however, and Mt. Vernon quickly returned to its lofty standards on the way to a 58-43 win.

The Marauders (13-0) have not given up more than 50 points all year, and they had the state’s best 3A defense (and seventh toughest overall) heading into the game with a 41.1 points-per-game average.

After stifling Connersville Friday — the Spartans (6-10) had 26 total points with less than five minutes to play — MV coach Steve Lynch was asked if this is the best defensive team he’s ever coached.

He paused, then replied with a smile, “Hate to give them any compliments before the season’s over, but they’re doing a really nice job. It’s one of the best, for sure.”

Connersville opened the game 1-of-7 from the field and was in an 11-2 hole through the first quarter. Kerry Brown’s club exploited a lapse in the Marauders’ perimeter defense to start the second quarter, though, knocking down 4-of-5 3-point attempts, and the visitors trailed by only one point at halftime, 17-16.

“We started the game well and then for whatever reason in the second quarter, we couldn’t get in a good flow offensively and they made three or four shots,” Lynch said. “We talked at halftime about, ‘We just can’t allow teams to sit in the zone and make shots like that.’

“I thought in the third quarter we responded and did a nice job and kind of got some things locked up.”

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