Mariner making progress during challenging games | Boys basketball
Mariner took some steps forward in its first week back from the holiday break.
Unfortunately, those steps didn’t yield any victories, as the Marauders dropped games to Lake Stevens, Jackson and Monroe in Wesco 4A boys basketball action.
Mariner fell 70-59 to the Vikings on Jan. 3, 59-41 to the Timberwolves on Jan. 6 and then 78-54 to Monroe on Jan. 7.
Marauders coach Tevin Dillon saw progress from his team after some changes in the lineup.
“We took some steps back,” Dillon said. “Now we’re finally taking steps forward. We’re getting back in our groove.
“I think this second half of the season is going to be huge for us. But we have to get the winner mentality in our heads and run with it.”
The loss to the Bearcats was a game that actually was much closer than the 24-point deficit at the end of the contest.
Mariner trailed 17-11 at the end of the first period and went into halftime behind 32-28.
Monroe (3-2 in the league, 8-3) overall extended its lead to 50-41 at the end of the third quarter thanks to four 3-point shots by senior Trenton Newhouse.
“He played well. He hit some big shots,” Dillon said. “We wanted to limit his shots and we tried to do it. A lot of his 3-pointers came in transition off of offensive rebounds. So it is just something we have to work on and have to get ready and prepared for next time.”
The Marauders (0-5, 2-10) made a run at Monroe early in the fourth quarter.
Mariner senior Jalen Hayes made a basket and free throw off his own steal and teammate Harmandeep Singh connected on a pair of free throws to cut the deficit to 50-46 with 6:56 left in the final period.
Newhouse, however, responded with a 3-pointer and Spencer Davidson made a basket and two free throws, while Mariner could only muster one free throw from Hayes. Monroe’s Blake Bingham, Isaiah Cole and Newhouse each made a 3-pointer, as the Bearcats seized control of the game, 63-49, midway through the fourth quarter.
The Marauders later would cut the deficit to 9 points with just under a minute left in the game.
“You get it down to 4 points. We make a couple of turnovers,” Dillon said. “We just have to make plays on offense when we do get the score down.”
Mariner also struggled to make its free throws, especially in the fourth quarter. The Marauders were 7 of 15 from the line in the final period.
“The free throws have been a big issue for us for the whole season,” Dillon said. “That makes a big difference between all the close games. … We make free throws, it changes the whole aspect of the game.”
Saturday’s game marked the first week back for Hayes, who took some time off to attend to his future college plans.
“It’s been good. He’s doing well, playing well,” Dillon said. “He’s coming off the bench. He’s being a leader.”
Mariner hosts first place Glacier Peak (5-0, 10-1) on Thursday, Jan. 12 and then travels to Monroe (3-2, 8-3) on Tuesday, Jan. 17.
“We have so much talent,” Dillon said. “We’ve got to play as a team. … We’ve got to find a way to use all our talent to get better and play better.”