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What started out as a close contest, turned into a lesson in how to finish ballgames.
After Marlow led 9-7 going into the second quarter, the Dragons of Purcell took over with turnovers and points in the paint as the Outlaws slumped to their second straight defeat 53-40 inside Marlow Gymnasium.
“Purcell is a good team and really disciplined,” Marlow coach John Garrett said. “We can actually take some notes from them on how to play with a lead. We had the turnovers and they made the free throws. I was proud though the way our guys fought back from 16 down, but we can’t have that kind of gap.”
It looked as though the Outlaws were going to pull out another one of their cardiac comebacks in the fourth quarter, as MHS cut the Dragons lead down to six points at 42-36 with 3:01 left.
But, as they did the whole contest, PHS took care of the ball and made the Outlaws pay when they went to the free throw line.
On the evening, the Dragons finished 18-of-21 from the charity stripe, which included making 15 straight after missing their first attempt of the evening.
Marlow meanwhile finished 6-of-9 on free throws.
Both teams battled hard in the first quarter, sharing the lead multiple times throughout.
Going into the halftime break, the Outlaws were still within striking distance at 21-13, but the Dragons were the ones in control throughout the second half.
Marlow (6-4) could get no closer than 10 points after the break as PHS exploited turnovers and used the physicality of the game to its full advantage.
“Sometimes a physical game just doesn’t favor us,” Garrett said. “We expended a lot of energy on defense, especially when they make 10 to 12 passes before even taking a shot. By the time the fourth quarter came around our legs were gone. That’s just what good teams do.”
Leading the scoring attack for the Outlaws was Braeden O’Dell with 16 points, followed by Zac Beasler with 12 points. Jackson Huddleston added seven on the night.
Purcell (6-3) was led by Jacob Hillis, Brennan Barger, and Jonah Northcutt who all totaled 10 points.
Marlow will be taking on Idabel in the first round of the Lone Grove Tournament on Thursday afternoon.