Nine in a Row: Marauders beat Brebeuf for longest winning streak since 2013

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Mt. Vernon’s Cooper Galli brings the ball down against Brebeuf Jesuit Prep on Friday, Feb. 11, 2022. (Tom Russo/Daily Reporter)

FORTVILLE — A 13-day break between games didn’t slow Mt. Vernon from continuing the boys basketball program’s longest winning streak since 2013.

The Marauders, ranked No. 13 in the latest Associated Press Class 4A poll, jumped out quickly on Class 3A No. 5 Brebeuf Jesuit — leading by 19 at halftime — in a 70-55 romp over the Braves on homecoming night at Mt. Vernon High School, Friday.

Mt. Vernon won its ninth straight game and improved its overall record to 15-2.

The winning streak is the longest since a 17-game stretch to start the 2012-13 season. In 2015-16, Mt. Vernon won eight straight.

There were no signs of sluggishness from not having a game since Cooper Galli hit the game-winner in a 48-47 Hoosier Heritage Conference win over Delta on Jan. 29.

Senior Avery Williams, Jr., hit his first five shots, including three 3-pointers. Classmate Amhad Jarrard, gave the homecoming crowd a show with three first-half dunks, including a pair assisted by his twin brother Armon Jarrard. Both Jarrards are headed to IUPUI next year.

Three starters scored in double figures and two other players had seven or more points.

“I was definitely worried about having some rust. They’re kids,” Mt. Vernon coach Ben Rhoades said. “After you haven’t played in a game for a couple weeks, no matter how much you say it in practice, you are always concerned as the coach.

“I thought they did a really good job, energy-wise. We hit our first couple shots and got some steals on defense and I thought that let everybody relax a little. Then, we settled into our game.”

After hitting 50 percent (7 of 14) of their field-goal attempts in the first quarter, the Marauders turned it up a notch in the second. MV hit 10 of 16 tries, including 4 of 9 from 3-point range. Off the bench, Eli Bridenthal hit a pair of treys and had eight second-quarter points.

Mt. Vernon went from a 17-8 first-quarter lead to a commanding 41-22 halftime advantage. MV had just two first-half turnovers.

Williams led the way with 17 points, 15 coming in the first half. Senior post Ray Wells had 14. The Jarrard twins had 10 points apiece. Bridenthal finished with nine and Galli had seven.

“Him scoring 15 in the first half was huge for us,” Rhoades said. “He hit a couple open shots. We have a lot of guys that can score. When one of our guys that people aren’t initially focused on can hit a couple shots early, that helps everybody get going and it gets our crowd energized.”

Williams came in averaging 8.3 points per game. Both Jarrards and Wells average double figures.

“Some (opponents) focus more on those guys,” Williams said. “Because of that, I’ll have some open shots. They’ll try to test me. Kind of like, ‘let’s see what he can do.’ When that opportunity comes you have to finish it off.

“When I hop in and do that, it opens it up for everybody else and they have to key on all of us. Then they can’t just key on Amhad and Armon or Ray.”

Brebeuf dropped to 11-6 and was boasting its own Division-I standout in 6-foot-7 guard Billy Smith. He led all scorers with 29 points, but most of those came well after the Marauders had taken control. Smith hit just three of his 14 shots and was 10 of 24 for the game (41.7 percent).

The Marauders lost their first game of 2022, an 87-78 defeat at the hands of Class 4A No. 17 Westfield on Jan. 4. The streak started three days later in a 60-59 overtime victory at Greenfield-Central.

Mt. Vernon was scheduled to play Feb. 8, at home, against Mooresville, but the game was postponed due to the Marauders hosting the girls basketball sectional. They had a contest scheduled with Noblesville on Feb. 3 that was postponed due to weather. The Marauders will now host the Millers on Tuesday, Feb. 15.

The girls tournament was initial scheduled to end on Feb. 5, but weather postponements forced the contest to be played on Feb. 8. Mooresville also had a girls team in a sectional title game that same night. This late in the regular season neither team could find a workable makeup date.

“It was pretty tough (not playing games),” Wells said. “We missed practices, too. We came back and had a lot of energy. We had a good week this week.”

Mt. Vernon looks to hit double figures in consecutive wins tonight at Beech Grove.

Mt. Vernon 70, Brebeuf Jesuit 55

Brebeuf Jesuit;8;14;12;21;—;55

Mt. Vernon;17;24;9;20;—;70

Brebeuf Jesuit (11-6): Billy Smith 10 4-5 29, Paul Stubblefield 3 0-0 7, Marial Puou 1 0-0 2, Alex Gothard 1 0-0 2, Zach Reed 2 2-2 8, Cam Freeman 0 0-0 0, Jake Hogan 0 0-0 0, Dirin Birhiray 2 0-0 4, Reis Butcher 1 0-0 3, Michael Irk 0 0-0 0. Totals: 20 6-7 55.

Mt. Vernon (15-2): Amhad Jarrard 5 0-0 10, Armon Jarrard 3 2-2 10, Cooper Galli 1 5-5 7, Avery Williams, Jr. 7 0-0 17, Razhaun Wells 6 2-2 14, Eli Bridenthal 3 1-2 9, George Burhenn 1 0-0 2, Gavin Sullivan 0 0-0 0, Darren Smith 0 1-2 1, Charlie Bostic 0 0-0 0. Totals: 26 11-13 70.

3-point goals: Brebeuf 9 (Smith 5, Reed 2, Stubblefield, Butcher); Mt. Vernon 7 (Williams, Jr. 3, Ar. Jarrard 2, Bridenthal 2)