(Yoakum) – Marion jumped out to an early 10-0 lead and never looked back in a 66-46 blowout of Vanderbilt-Industrial to advance through the bi-district round of the 3A boys basketball playoffs Tuesday night in Yoakum.
The Bulldogs held the Cobras to a single field goal in the first quarter and led 21-5 heading into the second period. Marion stretched the margin to 27 points, 38-11, by halftime and pushed the lead out to 30 in the second half without allowing Industrial to come closer than 20.
Even with the lopsided win and a crisp enough performance to put the game out of reach by halftime, Marion head coach Jon Allen comes away with teaching points after his team’s 17th straight win.
“For two-and-a-half quarters, I thought we played really well,” Allen said. “Sometimes it’s hard to get that killer instinct, I think, they’re 16-17 year old kids, and they’ve got a big lead, their intensity drops a little bit, and I think that’s what happened to us in the second half, but a 20-point win in the playoffs? I’ll take it.”
Senior point guard Creet Rabenaldt and junior forwards Jackson Allen and Jacob Wallace shared game-high scoring honors with 16 points apiece. Wallace also corralled nine rebounds, dished out five assists, and recorded three blocked shots. Allen added seven rebounds. All three players shot the ball efficiently, with Wallace going 6-9 on field goal attempts, Rabenaldt 7-14, and Allen 5-10.
Rabenaldt, a first-year starter and often the smallest player on the court, has made teams pay for overcommitting to Wallace and Allen this season with his penetration and perimeter shooting.
“He’s kind of our little silent assassin,” Coach Allen said. I don’t think people expect him to do anything, they worry about our big kids, and he gets open a lot, and he’s probably our most consistent shooter if you ask anybody and see him in practice in what we do, so it doesn’t surprise me when he puts up the numbers that he does.”
Jacob Berry chipped in with a strong performance off the bench, finishing with seven points and five rebounds. Fabian Guerrero added five points, Zach Goodwin four, and Brevin Wilson two.
As a team, Marion shot 50 percent overall (25-50) and 68 percent from the free throw line (13-19), but only went 3-14 from three-point range. The Bulldogs held Industrial to 31.4 percent shooting and won the rebounding battle 27-21.
Marion (27-6) advances to face Comfort in the area round of the 3A Region IV bracket. The game will air live on KWED 1580 AM and Seguintoday.com, but the time and location details had yet to be finalized at press time.