After winning back-to-back games, the Marceline boys' basketball team had a tough time at home in its conference opener on Tuesday. The Tigers fell to Paris, 60-46, in a game they controlled early.
Although Marceline did lost to Westran on Dec. 4, the game was not an official Lewis & Clark Conference game because it was in tournament play in Glasgow.
Marceline jumped out to a 13-4 lead four minutes into the game and forced Paris coach Dennis Dent to burn a timeout.
"We came out with a lot of energy and intensity, and we weren't able to hold on to that intensity for the rest of the game," Marceline head coach Jordan Aulbur said. "Those early minutes are a big positive because it's something we can definitely build upon."
From that point onward, the game was flipped. Paris cut Marceline's lead to 15-11 by the end of the first quarter.
In the second, the Coyotes went ballistic from beyond the arc. Paris scored the first 17 points of the quarter, and took a 37-20 lead into the halftime break. Five of the Coyotes' seven made three-pointers came in the second period.
By the time the fourth quarter arrived, Paris had taken a 55-35 lead, and outscored the Tigers 44-20 in the middle two quarters. Paris had Marceline's number on the offensive glass, giving itself second and third opportunities seemingly every time a Coyote shot failed to drop.
Only four Marceline players scored on the evening. Junior Luke Abeln led his team with 20 points, and sophomore Wyatt Molloy posted 19. Senior Carlos Valdez added five and sophomore Will Heller tacked on a bucket.
"They were bigger than us, and we'll work on getting in better positions," Aulbur said. "They made their shots, and a lot of them were open. For us, it was tough to get some of the looks that work for us.
"We want continued effort and intensity, and we want to buckle down on fundamentals. We fell into the same trap as last year with turnovers."
Paris falls to 4-2, while the Tigers now sit at 2-3. All three of Marceline's losses came against opponents above the .500 mark, and the Tigers head to face a 3-3 La Plata team on Friday.