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December 20, 2013

Washington provides tough competition for Outlaws

MARLOW — After disposing of No. 12 Lindsay in dominant fashion, the Outlaw boys basketball team will face treacherous No. 8 Washington at home on Friday.

The spotless record of Washington will be put up against the impeccable defense of Marlow, whose only loss came from No. 11 Comanche 51-48. That was the opening game of the season and included a brush with the biggest disadvantage this Outlaw team has, height. Before the season started, coach Kirk Harris focused on how his team would overcome that disadvantage, and he hopes his plan works well on Friday.

“Every game that we play we are going to be outsized,” Harris said. “We’re already used to that. We match up better with Washington than we have against other opponents... They’re not real physical, and they’re pretty much guard oriented.”

Harris added that the two teams are similar in the ways they attack the basket. He wants to shutdown the perimeter shooters, and hopes that he can keep it close the whole night. If it is a close game late, Marlow could have the edge. Most of its games have been close and it has the experience — they have six seniors and eight juniors on the roster. Right now it also has the confidence.

“They’re believing in what we’re doing, and believing in themselves and each other,” Harris said. “Right now, I don’t feel like we look at anybody like ‘hey we don’t have a chance against them.’”

That confidence will be good as Marlow attempts to be physical with their guards, because of lack of size, can play pretty much any position from one to five. Harris has been happy with the strength of his players so far.

“Our point guard might be guarding the post. We’re all pretty much the same size,” Harris said. “Just being able to guard both positions and also, our kids are doing a good job of being strong with the ball. When they do attack, they’re being aggressive and physical.”

The final message is don’t build a deficit. Harris knows the Warriors are efficient from the line and getting behind will play into that strength.

The Marlow girls basketball team knows that situation all to well. No. 9 Lindsay shot 43 free-throws in their win over the Outlaws on Tuesday and made 30 of them. That was just under half the teams total points as Leopards won the contest 61-44.

“They pulled the positive out of that,” Coach Larry Mowry said. “You take away that 30 points from free throws, and we win handily. I thought we did the things we had to do, and we were successful more so than Lindsay in just about every category.”

The big focus heading into the game against No. 7 Washington is sophomore Kelsey Johnson. The six-foot three-inch center ravaged Velma-Alma’s defense in the final of the Comet Classic on Saturday. Mowry hopes he can use the whole team to slow her down on Friday, but junior Shayna Throckmorton will likely draw the main assignment. Throckmorton makes up for being under six-feet-tall by using her strength. Mowry wants her to increase this when facing such a daunting task.

“(I’ve told her to) get in there and be physical and kind of lay on this girl to see what she’s made of,” Mowry said. “She’s good, and she’s talented, but she is a sophomore. That means she is young. She’s not that seasoned of a player and let’s get in their and be physical.”

It will be a big matchup for both the boys and girls teams as Washington expects to challenge for the 3A state championships.

“It will give us a good measuring stick to see exactly where we are at,” Mowry said. “It will be a huge task for us, and if we have some success, that will give us some momentum to want to work hard over break.”

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