The Marcellus boys basketball team Thursday became the first squad since the founding of the Southwest 10 Conference to grab a league win over Cassopolis. The Wildcats won on their home floor 58-51 in a tense affair which saw numerous momentum swings.
The Rangers came in shorthanded with five players unavailable due to a mild kerfuffle late in Tuesday’s blowout win over Eau Claire, including their two top scorers. Marcellus fired on all cylinders to open, racing to a 14-5 lead early. The tide switched to the Rangers before the end of the first, punctuated by an empathic one-handed Darrion Gatson dunk. They finished the frame on an 11-2 run to even the game at 16. By halftime, there had been six lead changes with the Wildcats holding a narrow 27-26 lead.
The flow shifted back to Marcellus toward the end of the third quarter. Sophomore sharpshooter Gavin Etter sank his sixth three-pointer of the night in the waning seconds to put the Wildcats up 41-34. The Wildcats grew the lead to 45-34, but a 12-3 Ranger rally put Cassopolis back within one possession with 2:35 to go.
That would be as close as they would get as Marcellus answered with their own 6-0 run. Foul trouble late further depleted an already thin Ranger roster and allowed the Wildcats to hit enough free throws to close the contest. Etter’s 25 points topped all players for Marcellus, closely trailed by Gatson’s 24 for Cassopolis.
The Rangers enter the winter break both at 5-1 overall and in the Southwest 10. They’ll return to action on Thursday, January 3 hosting New Buffalo.
The Wildcats move to 4-2 both overall and in league play. They get right back it with a trip to Lawton Friday to close out 2018. After that, they’re off until January 8’s trip to Bangor.
Marcellus Scoring: Gavin Etter 25, Kaeler Stafne 11, Jack Sumners 7, Andrew Brewer 6, Jerry Myers 3, Zach Shelton 2, Carson Sumners 2, Brady Ferguson 2
Cassopolis Scoring: Darrion Gatson 24, Ahsan Hart 13, Devin Jennings 5, Jerry Johnson 4, Kasimir Buck 3, Davonte Goins 2