Written by Michael Florek
Marcus boys edge Lewisville, force one-game playoff for final 5-5A playoff spot
FLOWER MOUND — If it wasn’t a game-ending, half-court heave at the buzzer falling short that gave Flower Mound Marcus the win Tuesday night, it was Marcus’ game-opening run.
Marcus, the two-time defending state champion, needed to beat Lewisville in its final game of the season to have a chance at the playoffs. Its 47-45 victory forced a tiebreaking game to be played between the two teams 7 p.m. Friday night in Flower Mound. The winner claims the last playoff spot in District 5-5A.
Lewisville missed all but one shot from the field in the first quarter and scored only four points. Marcus took advantage, with Jack Holden’s 3-pointer midway through the period igniting a seven-point run, and giving Marcus a seven-point lead that it wouldn’t relinquish.
“We had to come out and get them early,” said Marcus guard Aaron Steele, who had nine points. “We couldn’t let them get on us because then we knew we wouldn’t be able to come back since they were a pressing team.”
The Marcus lead dwindled to four by halftime, went back up to 11 by the end of the third, and then fell to two as Jaden Wright stole an inbounds pass and scored an easy layup with 19.6 seconds left. Marcus needed to get the ball inbounds two more times to close out the game and did so successfully.
“We were just tougher tonight,” Marcus coach Clay Cody said. “We went over there early in the year, and they were tougher down the stretch. We held onto the ball when we had to. That’s all there is to it.”
A missed Marcus free throw gave Wright one final chance from halfcourt but the attempt fell short of the front of the rim.
Follow Michael Florek on Twitter at @michaelflorek