Marceline hoops Lady Tigers squeeze by in OT on Moseley layup for first win
MHS boys follow with 17-0 start, 63-28 romp over guest La Plata
By PAUL STURM, LCL Sports Editor
MARCELINE — Marceline High School’s varsity basketball teams reached the same desired destination last Friday night. They followed quite-different itineraries to do so, however.
The previously-winless Lady Tigers led La Plata by relatively-small margins a majority of their game, including by as many as 10 points with a strong start to the second half, but needed a foul shot in the final half-minute of regulation time to get the game to overtime before, in the final five seconds of OT, reserves Brailee Niemeier and Lucy Moseley teamed up with great precision to create a game-winning layup by freshman Moseley with just over a second remaining as MHS prevailed, 61-59.
Not long after that, the Tigers rang up their game’s first 19 points and cruised to a 63-28 blowout.
The Marceline boys’ victory was their second in a row and closed out their 2020 play with a 3-1 record. The Lady Tigers stand 1-3 as they begin their 2-weeks holiday hiatus from game action. Both are due to resume Jan. 2 with a trip to non-conference foe Hallsville.
Friday’s girls’ game was the home team’s to win any number of times, but every time they inflated their lead to multiple possessions, LPHS’ Lady Bulldogs and their quick-attacking offense would scramble back to make things close.
Eventually, La Plata led a few times late in the fourth quarter before Niemeier hit a free throw with 27 seconds to go in the fourth quarter to knot things at 53-53 and, after the visitors failed to get a shot away in the remaining time, additional time was required.
In overtime, the clubs traded deuces – MHS going first – to stay even at 55 and 57. Lady Tigers junior forward Ramzee Bruner, who led her team with 22 points, untied things again, this time with two free throws, only to have La Plata answer with another deuce.
With the contest tied at 59-all, each team took a crack at taking the upper hand in the final minute, but failed. That left Marceline with possession of the ball for an in-bounds play from about midway in the backcourt and about seven seconds to go.
After a timeout to plot the approach against La Plata’s three-quarters-court zone press, Marceline made its throw-in to Niemeier in the middle of the press’ outline and at midcourt. She quickly turned and found clear space directly in front of her, putting the ball on the floor to begin a drive which looked to have the potential for her to get all the way to the basket or close to it.
However, as the backup forward came near the right elbow of the lane, she either saw or heard from Moseley who was scurrying toward the basket from the left side of the court with a clear path to the rim.
Smoothly, for a game which saw tons of traveling violations as players either caught passes or prepared to make them, Niemeier slowed and fired a pass which intersected Moseley’s path perfectly in stride. The frosh caught the pass and, protecting the ball from late-reacting defenders, went up from the left side of the lane and perfectly kissed the ball off the window with her left hand and through the hoop with between one and two seconds showing on the clock. Before La Plata could collect the ball, time expired and the host Lady Tigers had emerged victorious after all.
Statistically, Bruner was the only MHS girl to score in double digits, but Addison Huber provided eight and three others – Moseley, Niemeier, and another sub, Cassie Rodgers – put in seven each. La Plata guard Brooklyn Carvajal led all scorers with 26 points.
A key factor in the game’s outcome was free-throw shooting. Even though La Plata had 12 more attempts (30) at the stripe than they did, the Lady Tigers were outscored by only a point by going 11 of 18 at the line. In overtime, Bruner hit MHS’ only two chances, while the Lady Bulldogs missed all four of theirs.
The host school’s boys quickly made it absolutely certain that the outcome of their game would not wait until late to be known.
Shredding La Plata with driving layups in transition off turnovers and in the half-court set, the Tigers led 13-0 by the mid-point of the opening period. A jump-hook putback by Chris Dixon after rebounding a teammate’s missed fast-break layup try raised the ante to 19-0 with 2-1/2 minutes left in the stanza before La Plata got on the board about 20 seconds later.
By the end of one quarter, coach Mike Severa’s Tigers were up 21-2 and the halftime margin was 36-7. When the gap grew to 52-18 after 24 minutes, the entire fourth quarter was timed by “running clock” rules.
Marceline spread the wealth around from the outset. Four Tigers scored in the first quarter – three of them managing at least five markers – and eventually four finished in dual figures.
Leading MHS’ boys in scoring was 6’ junior Will Heller with 19 points. Classmate Zach Niemeier tacked on 14 and Wyatt Molloy and Dixon 10 apiece. Beaten La Plata didn’t have anyone with more than eight. That was the total scored by reserve guard Lee Mack, all in the accelerated last period.