The varsity boys basketball team hosted St. Edward on Saturday night in a battle of undefeated teams. The game drew the largest crowd in the history of the new John Marshall gym. The Eagles pulled away in the second half to prevail 68-49, handing the Lawyers their first loss of the season.
The home crowd included many students, as well as alumni from across six decades. The cheerleading squad had them loud, creating a great environment. The Lawyers fed off the energy, taking an early 8-5 lead behind four quick points from senior Quentin Williams. Marshall sophomore Raymeire Oates tied the game at 10 midway through the first quarter with a pair of free throws. The Eagles responded with a pair of three pointers, first from senior PJ Flannery and then from senior Elliott Tirbaso. St. Edward held a 20-14 lead after the first period.
St. Edward stretched the lead to double-digits in the second quarter, due in part to eight points in the period from Flannery. He hit two three pointers within 19 seconds to give the Eagles a 35-19 lead with just over one minute left in the first half. The score at halftime was 36-21, as John Marshall refused to let the Eagles pull away.
Marshall went on a 6-2 run over the first three minutes of the third quarter, cutting the lead to 38-27 and firing up the home crowd. That was as close as it would get, though, as the Eagle defense locked down to shut out Marshall for the next seven minutes. Marshall cut into the lead with a 12-2 run early in the fourth quarter, but the Eagles kept the game in hand. St. Edward was able to use reserves during the final few minutes, and the Lawyers narrowed the final margin to 68-49. Oates and junior Terrell Repress led the Lawyers with 12 points apiece. Flannery led the Eagles with 16 points; Blanton had 14; Tirbaso and Foster each finished with nine.
Eagle head coach Eric Flannery, a two-time state champion, was very impressed with the Lawyers. “They are one of the best coached teams we’ve played so far,” he said after the game. “He [Marshall Head Coach Rich Austin] will do big things here.”
The Lawyers return to action Tuesday afternoon at Lincoln West. JV game is at 4, varsity at 5:30. Marshall’s next home game will be a nonconference matchup on Friday, December 29.