LEXINGTON TWP. — It was the kind of game the Marlington boys basketball team would like to play every night.
The Dukes used balanced scoring, strong rebounding, and good pressure defense to defeat visiting Northwest 66-43 Tuesday evening.
Marlington (3-1) had four players score in double figures, plus four players with four or more rebounds.
Coach Nick Evanich was pleased with the performance of his team.
“It was a great game of balance for us,” Evanich said. “We had four guys in double figures and another with nine. That is really nice. We also did well on the boards with it being very balanced. What I really liked was in the second half they [Northwest] had zero offensive rebounds. It was a really nice job on the boards.”
As strong as the Dukes' defense was, Evanich thought it could have been better in terms of communication.
“We need to be talking more,” Evanich said. “We don’t always talk and then we stand. That is when they got some of their easy buckets.”
Senior Ben Yoder had a strong game for the Dukes with 12 points, five boards, three steals, and a pair of steals he turned into points when Marlington pulled away in the fourth quarter.
“It was really fun,” Yoder said. “It was a good team win and the defense stepped up. We have some things to work on.”
What Yoder really enjoyed was playing at home in front of a good crowd.
“It was just awesome,” Yoder said. “I really missed it my first year of varsity last year due to COVID. Just to have all these kids out here was really fun.”
Senior Connor Evanich led the Dukes with 13 points, five rebounds and six assists, while junior Tommy Skelding added 12 points and seven rebounds. Junior Casey Miller finished with 11 points, three steals and three assists. Junior Drew Denham just missed double figures with nine points and four boards.
Marlington led from start to finish, 18-14 after one, 38-24 at the half and 51-36 going into the fourth period.
For Northwest (2-2), freshman Chase Bader led the way with 13 points, including four 3-pointers, and senior Alex Goddard added 12 points.
Northwest coach Mike Lower said his young team is still making too many mistakes.
“We had way too many turnovers,” Lower said. “They [Marlington] scored 19 points off of our turnovers. Plus, they got double digits off offensive rebounds. So those two areas really killed us. You are not going to win much playing like that.”
Lower was pleased with how Northwest shot the ball.
“We shot well from outside and hit some shots,” Lower said. “When we handled the ball, we got good shots. Defensively, I thought we defended well. But we are young and still learning to make better decisions."
Evanich said his team is not satisfied with where they are. They still want to get better.
“They are in the locker room talking about how they can get better,” Evanich said. “They want to get better. That is what it is about in December is getting better.”
This article originally appeared on The Alliance Review: Marlington defeats visiting Northwest in boys basketball Tuesday night