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The Marlow versus Newcastle boys basketball game was so physical one player lost a tooth.
After the dust cleared it was Newcastle walking away with a 60-56 victory on the Outlaws court Tuesday. The home team had problems all night with forcing passes that weren’t there and coach Kirk Harris dreaded the way his offense attacked the Racers’ zone.
“We lost our patience at times, too many unforced turnovers,” Harris said. “They never trapped us. They never picked us up full. It’s just way too many turnovers. Patience was on our side and we didn’t use it well.”
Senior Wes Coast led the team with 23 points and sophomore Braeden O’Dell picked up 12. However O’Dell only scored two points after the first quarter. There were a couple of times when the guards tried to force it inside to him on an alley-oop pass, but it was intercepted.
“Very seldom in practice or in games so far, I can get them to throw it,” Harris said. “I’m always telling them, ‘guys you really need to look for the diagonal see if we can get the ball to him.’”
Ultimately the problem was the Outlaws just putting the visiting Racers away. Whenever the home team would build up momentum, it would just let it slip away.
“Every time we had a chance to take control, we did something goofy to let them come back and take charge,” Harris said.
As for the girls game, Marlow just couldn’t keep up with the visiting Racers in a 51-26 loss.
The Newcastle (4-1) full court press strangled the Outlaw (2-3) offense from beginning to end. The visitors took advantage of misplaced passes and quickly shot out to a 13-3 lead by the end of the first quarter. Wherever an Outlaw turned, a Racer or two would fly out of nowhere to pressure the ball handler.
“We didn’t handle that at all,” junior Diamond Morris said. “We learned what we need to work on, work harder in practice and prepare better for our games.”
The Racers used that press for most of the game, and didn’t have to worry about fatigue due to its almost limitless bench. With 23 players on the roster, some of the visitors were relegated to sitting on the floor, because the bench was full. Soon the deficit began to spiral out of control, leading to a 36-7 halftime score. Newcastle senior Miranda Curl led all players with 14 points by the end of the half.
“It’s hard to duplicate that in practice, that athleticism,” Coach Larry Mowry said. “We’ve got four juniors, five sophomores and a freshman. Any time you have lower numbers, lower experience,it’s tough to be able to play them.”
With the on ball pressure, Marlow resolved itself to just going straight at the visiting Racers. The officials decided to let the girls play, and the game started getting physical. With neither team willing to back down, it became commonplace for girls to be on the ground before a whistle would be heard.
“It was a little bit of a boxing match,” Mowry said. “They let us play tonight the way that we played for the last four games but got penalized for it. I’ve been preaching that we need to be aggressive.”