JM posts convincing victory at Barnesville

BARNESVILLE — John Marshall didn’t waste any time taking it right to Barnesville on Tuesday night.

Behind the 1-2 punch of Gunner Thompson and Bryce Yoho, the Monarchs led wire-to-wire in posting a convincing 79-62 boys’ high school basketball triumph on the Shamrocks’ home boards.

“We just improved inside offensively,” said JM head coach Chad Clutter, whose team led by as many as 23.

“Bryce had a really nice game inside. He knew when to shoot and when not to shoot.

“And, obviously, Gunner did a nice job in the open court.”

Yoho poured in 25 points, including JM’s first seven points, but Thompson netted a team-high 27 — all coming in the final three quarters. He stands four points shy of 1,000 for his career with a home date against TRAC rival Morgantown slated for Friday.

“The big kids were just too strong,” Barnesville head coach Matt Johnson said.

“One had 25 and the other had 27. We tried to take away the inside and when we did that they made the outside shots.

Aaron Reid added 13 points for John Marshall (3-4), which led by nine — 20-11 — after one period.

A 12-3 John Marshall to start the second quarter pushed the Monarchs’ advantage to 32-14. Thompson scored the final six points of the surge, which also included two from Yoho.

JM kept its offense moving well all night and Clutter said his players executed the gameplan well.

“We knew they were going to play a 2-3 zone, so our goal was to make their forwards come out and then throw it in to Bryce. The gameplan worked really well early.

“Off the bat, it seemed like we were finding the right people open. I think we had more assist passes then we’ve had all year. This was a good win.”

Once the Monarchs got their lead up to around 20, though, Barnesville (3-7) didn’t let it get any larger. In fact, late in the first half the Shamrocks’ offense found a little life.

Barnesville ended the half on an 8-0 run, capped by a 3-pointer by Luke Powell, who hit four on the night and finished with a team-high 25 points. Tate Dowler and Aaron Marovich, who each netted 15, also scored during the spurt.

But John Marshall started the second half like the first — strong. An 11- 6 burst put it up 17. Then, after Barnesville cut its deficit to 14, the Monarchs went on another run — this time 9-0, to push their lead to 23.

“I thought our kids fought,” Johnson said. “I think we’ve had some issues with kids giving up in the past, but I don’t think we had that (Tuesday).

“We’re still in the process where we’re looking for anything positive we can find and I think the positive I take out of this game is that we played harder consistently.

“If they keep working and giving us that effort I think we’ll be OK.”

The Shamrocks welcome Buckeye Trail on Friday.

John Marshall also won the JV tilt, 59-41.