MORRISTOWN -- John Marshall and Union Local renewed their girls' basketball rivalry after more than a decade Wednesday night.
And, according to former JM head coach Stan Blankenship, the Monarchs remained unblemished against the homestanding Jets with a 74-68 victory inside 'The Hangar.'
"They never beat us when I coached," Blankenship stated with affirmity as he watched his protege, Mark McCormick, guide the Lady Monarchs to a 3-0 start.
UNION LOCAL’S Dallas Montag works the ball up the floor during Wednesday’s game against John Marshall. The Lady Monarchs posted a 74-68 victory. Additional images may be found at cu.timesleaderonline.com
John Marshall led wire-to-wire in sending Union Local to its third loss in seven tips.
Senior Kylie Howard and freshman Torie Derrow evenly divided a dozen points and Morgan Watson added five in the opening stanza as the Monarchs roared to a 22-14 lead before the Jets tallied the final three points of the period.
"Our first two gamed the competition was so-so," McCormick offered. "I scouted Union Local twice and I knew they have a nice team, but we played really well at times.
"This was the first real adversity that we have faced this season and I thought the girls responded very well," he added. "We pulled through despite our foul problems."
The Mountain Staters slowly, but surely, extended their margin as the Jets couldn't buy a bucket in the second quarter. They were only able to tickle the twine twice in a dozen attempts as JM led, 40-27.
"In the first half, we, as coaches, were wondering what was going on," admitted Union Local head coach Drew Greenwood. "We created a lot of problems for ourselves."
Things didn't get any better for Union Local in the third frame as it turned the ball over 11 times in watching the Monarchs build a 22-point lead twice, the last being at 55-33 with 2:52 left.
The Jets sliced the deficit to 14 by the end of the quarter, and got to within seven, 70-63, at the 1:55 mark of the final chapter by cashing in at the charity stripe. Dallas Montag (6-for-6) and Kayla Doty (4-for-4) sparked the comeback.
However, the Monarchs had an answer as Derrow and Emily Winters connected for baskets down the stretch.
"The second half was a test for us," Greenwood added. "I felt good after the game because our girls never quit playing and battled until the final horn. That's what good teams do. They never quit.
"We had some girls step up in the second half tonight and did some things that we know they are capable of," he continued.
Derrow, a smooth looking frosh, led all scorers in the game with 23 points. She also completed her double-double with 10 rebounds, while also swatting away five shots. Kristen Lewicki, a cat-quick point guard, netted 18 points and charted four steals and four assists. Howard finished with 15 points before fouling out with nearly five minutes to play.
"I like where we are headed as a team," McCormick allowed.
Doty and Montag each scored 21 points, while Cori Medley added 16. Doty, despite playing with a torn ACL and wearing a bulky brace, tied Derrow for game honors off the glass with 10 of Union Local's 31 boards. Medley charted seven caroms and five assists.
"Kayla Doty is a good basketball player," Greenwood remarked. "She'll do whatever has to be done in order to help the team."
Both teams turned the ball 21 times.
Union Local remains at home today as Buckeye Local pays a visit.
John Marshall made it a sweep by capturing the jayvee game.
JOHN MARSHALL (74) - Derrow 10 3-6 23; Filben 1 1-2 3; Lewicki 7 4-8 18; Watson 4 0-0 9; Howard 6 2-2 15; George 0 0-3 0; Winters 3 0-0 6; McClelland 0 0-0 0; Totals: 31-58 10-21. UNION LOCAL (68) - Doty 7 6-7 21; Montag 5 11-12 21; Stiles 0 2-4 2; Medley 5 5-5 16; Patton 2 0-0 4; Collins 0 1-2 1; Butler 0 0-0 0; Russell 0 0-0 0; Delaney 1 0-0 3; Totals: 20-49 25-30.
Three-Point Goals: John Marshall 2 (Watson, Howard); Union Local 3 (Doty, Medley, Delaney)
North can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org