Brooke Tillotson provided the firepower, but the Marathon girls’ varsity basketball team was down two players due to injuries and dropped a tough Interscholastic Athletic Conference North Small School Division contest Friday.
Tillotson scored a game-high 22 points as the Olympians finally fell in the fourth quarter to Union Springs 57-46 at McDonald Gymnasium.
In boys’ basketball, Marathon edged Union Springs 60-56 and Groton lost at Candor 76-57.
Union Springs 57, Marathon 46: “We had a great crowd at the game,” Marathon coach Andrew Pierce said. “The girls fed off their energy and played with intensity. It was a fun game to coach. We hung tough with them. They moved the ball extremely well and when they got open looks they made them count. Union Springs would hit a team total seven 3-pointers on the night.”
Union Springs leads the North Small School Division by improving to 7-1 in the division and 10-3 overall. Marathon is second at 5-3 and 8-7 overall.
The visiting Wolves took a 14-12 lead in the first quarter, but Tillotson and Abby Ensign each netted five points in the second quarter to help the Olympians hold a 23-21 advantage at halftime.
Two 3-pointers by Renee Park and five more points from Danielle Waldron helped Union Springs score 18 points in the third quarter and retake a 39-33 edge through three quarters. Tillotson, along with a key 3-pointer by Molly Merihew, tried to rally Marathon in the fourth quarter, but Park and Waldron stay hot as the Wolves opened some breathing room and went on to the win.
In addition to Tillotson, Kristi Walley finished the night with eight points for Marathon. Merihew chipped in with six points and Ensign added five points.
“Brooke is having a super season and her effort is second to none,” Pierce said. “I can’t say enough about everything she does out there for us.”
Park pumped in 20 points for Union Springs while Waldron added 17 points to the Wolves attack.
Marathon 60, Union Springs 55: Marathon (8-1 division, 13-2 overall) got off to a slow start and found itself trailing 19-11 after one quarter, but the Olympians hit their stride in the second quarter. Four 3-pointers helped Marathon put 20 points on the scoreboard in the quarter to grab a 31-24 halftime advantage. The Olympians kept its edge in the third quarter before Union Springs (5-5, 9-7 overall) tired a late rally in the fourth quarter.
Forced to the foul line, the Olympians made their free throws. Kenyon DePuy was six for eight in the closing minutes to secure the Marathon victory. DePuy was seven for 10 from the charity stripe in the game and had 15 points for Marathon. Diego Castellot led the Olympians with 19 points and Andrew Tillotson netted 13 points.
“Defense was the key again for us tonight,” Marathon coach Jim Holland said. “It was just one of those nights where we missed layups and open shots. I thought Braeden Morrison did a great job playing valuable minutes after Conor Holland left the game early in the third quarter with an ankle injury. Union Springs played aggressively and really tested us.”
Hunter Martin paced Union Springs with 16 points. Jose Reyes and Damon Brown each pitched in with 13 points for the Wolves.
Candor 76, Groton 57: Candor (10-6 overall) won three of the four quarters and it was more than enough to post the win over visiting Groton (7-9).
Candor took a 16-9 lead in the first quarter before Groton was able to cut the deficit to 36-33 by halftime. Candor controlled the second half with a 40-24 scoring advantage to seal the victory.
James Lucey and Garrett VanBenschoten each scored 13 points for Groton.
Daniel Thomas tallied a game high 20 points for Candor.