FORTVILLE — There will be a new Class 3A boys basketball state champion in Indiana this year.
Mt. Vernon made sure of that Friday. Now, the Marauders aim to finish as the 2013 hoops kings.
Behind CJ Coleman and a typically stout defensive effort, 3A No. 1-ranked Mt. Vernon dispatched defending state champ Guerin Catholic 37-30 Friday in the Sectional 26 semifinals.
Guerin ousted Mt. Vernon 35-28 in last year’s sectional on its way to the state championship, and Friday’s rematch was equally easy on the scoreboard operator.
“We knew coming into the game it was going to be tough,” said MV sophomore Dan Werner, who scored 11 points, including five in the first quarter to get the hosts out to a 9-2 lead. “We just had to play hard and get out to the 3-point line on defense. And they had a good player down low. We knew if we stopped him, we’d have a better chance of winning.”
The 3A No. 1-ranked Marauders (21-1) succeeded on both counts, keeping Guerin to a 3-of-18 shooting effort from long range and holding Division I prospect Aaron Brennan to 10 points on 4-of-12 shooting.
The defensive effort on Brennan came at a cost for the Marauders, however. MV six-foot-6 senior forward Stephen Turner had his hands full with the Brennan and his Guerin low post teammate Cris Burrough — each standing 6-5 — and Turner fouled out with four minutes, 45 seconds left in the game and Mt. Vernon ahead 24-21.
MV, which advanced to face Arlington (11-11) in Monday’s championship, rallied following the loss of Turner, their second-leading scorer this season with 14.6 points per game.
Turner’s fifth and final foul sent Brennan to the free throw line for two shots, both of which he missed.