MORAN — With unselfish play all around and a dominating performance by senior forward Kurtis LaRue, Marmaton Valley High turned a nip-and-tuck affair into a laugher Tuesday.
The Wildcats struggled briefly with visiting Altoona-Midway High’s zone defense early on before finding a few openings.
LaRue was there to take full advantage, with 28 points and 13 rebounds to lead the Wildcats to a 67-38 win.
The victory lifts Marmaton Valley’s mark to 4-8 on the season.
The victory was an emotional one, admitted Wildcat head coach Denny Lasley.
Sophomore guard Zach Louk, who scored seven points and registered four steals, played less than 24 hours after his family lost their home to a fire.
“Zach played tremendous defense in what had been a tough day,” Lasley said. “We had to find him a different uniform so he could play.”
The bright spots didn’t end there.
Tanner Lewis and Dalton Houk were able to cut down on turnovers, another key, Lasley said, while Ethan Ericson was masterful at distributing the ball all evening.
“The statistics might not show it, but he did a great job of getting the ball where it was supposed to go,” Lasley said. “The boys played well tonight and they had fun doing it.”
Altoona-Midway’s zone slowed Marmaton Valley at the start. The Wildcats led just 12-10 after one period.
But the Wildcats began working the ball around the perimeter before going inside to LaRue, who scored 10 points in the second quarter. Marmaton Valley broke open the game with a 23-11 run.
The lead grew to 22 points, 54-32, by the end of the third quarter.
Houk wound up with 10 points, seven rebounds and six assists. Lewis had seven points and five assists.
Dillon Smith scored 14 points and Casey Howard 10 to lead the Jets.
Marmaton Valley travels to Crest on Thursday for a makeup contest before traveling to Uniontown on Friday.
Marmaton Valley (12-13-19-13—67) (FG/3-pt): McNutt 0-2-2-2, Lewis 2/1-0-0-7, Louk 2/1-0-1-7, Houk 3/1-1-3-10, Ericson 2/1-0-2-7, Becker 3-0-2-6, LaRue 13-2-3-28, Lhuillier 0-0-1-0. TOTALS: 25/4-5-14-67.
Altoona-Midway (10-11-11-6—38) (FG/3-pt): Boles 0-0-1-0, Brown 0/1-0-2-3, Meeds 2-4-1-8, Cor. Howard 1-0-3-2, Smith 5-4-0-14, Huffman 0-1-2-1, Engelman 0-0-3-0, Cas. Howard 2/2-0-3-10, DeNoon 0-0-2-0. TOTALS: 10/3-9-17-38.
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