BELOIT OH- The West Branch boys basketball team picked up its third straight win on Friday by beating Marlington 40-37. The Warriors lost the first meeting, but were able to split the season series with its rival. West Branch has now won three straight games in a row all inside the EBC.
West Branch quickly jumped out to an 8-0 lead to start the game, but Marlington was able to weather the storm. Both teams made small runs in the first half as the game went back and forth. The Warriors had a 22-16 lead at the half. Marlington came out of halftime red hot outscoring the Warriors 18-7 and the momentum shifted back towards Marlington. Coach Brown had a plan though as the Warriors held the Dukes to just three points in the fourth quarter. That strong defensive effort was enough for West Branch to grab the close win.
Joey Jackson led the way with 13 points for West Branch. Thomas Egli had a solid performance with 8 points, while Jerimiah Thomas and Jaxon Robb each contributed 7 points. Mike Kanagy anchored down that Warrior defense and pulled down some key rebounds to keep possessions alive for the offense. Coach Brown is excited that his team is continuing to make positive strides throughout the season.
For Marlington, they unfortunately had no one score in double figures. Beau Himmelheber and Dyland Heatherington each scored 9 points. Casey Miller contributed 7 points, while Caden Bates added 6. After a great third quarter by the Dukes, it looked like it might have had an offensive explosion in the 4th quarter. Unfortunately, because of great defense by the Warriors, that did not happen.
With the win, West Branch improves to 7-5 (4-3) inside the EBC. The Warriors will travel to Lake Center Christian on Tuesday. With the Loss Marlington, drops to 6-8 on the Year. The Dukes will look to bounce back on Tuesday when they travel to Louisville.
*Contributed By YSN’s Michael Ginocchi