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The Marlow boys basketball team is used to scoring a lot of points. So getting involved in a shootout with Lone Grove Friday wouldn’t bother them.
Frederick learned the hard way not to speed up the already fast-paced Outlaws in the first round of the Stephens County Tournament last Tuesday.
The final score was 100-71 and it was the first time Marlow had graced the triple-digit mark since 1991. Coach Kirk Harris sees some parallels between the two opponents, but expects this game to be a little bit more difficult.
“I know they like to play that tempo,” Harris said. “Defensively, I don’t think they gamble as much as Frederick, where they make you go score everytime.”
The Outlaws do have a roster that is designed to do that. Every player can bring the ball up the floor and that makes it hard for opponents to key in on one player on a fast break.
“We’re so interchangeable,” Harris said. “Any of them can get out on in transition and finish on the break. Sometimes you don’t want your post guy touching it when he’s running 100 miles per hour, but all of our guys can finish pretty well.”
The Marlow girls are looking to be better at moving the ball up the floor quickly. They have struggled against the press so far, but did make significant strides in their last game against Bethany. Junior Jordan Ridge said that was partly because the team is beginning to gel well as a team.
“We’re starting to get along better now than we used to,” Ridge said. “We’ve been working more as a team now, and that’s what got us our wins basically. That and being aggressive.”
It’s when that aggressiveness is high, that the Outlaws become more difficult for opponents to deal with. The most noticeable aspect of this is when the team faces a full-court press. Though the opponent doesn’t change much up, the Outlaws waver in their aggression to get the ball up the court. When the players are mild they commit turnovers and coach Larry Maury is looking to change that.
“That’s our big thing,” Maury said. “We’ll have spurts where we come to play hard, and we have spurts where we don’t.”
What has hurt has been the absence of a true leading scorer. Sophomore Corries Moore led the team with 16 points in the game against Bethany, but over the past few years, the Outlaws have grown accustomed to having someone to do that every night.
“Not having that this year, i think it’s kind of threw them for a little bit of a loop,” Maury said.