News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Sports

December 29, 2012

Behind Mahurin, Rox still in title hunt

TERRE HAUTE — Marshall was able to counterpunch Rockville’s runs throughout a battle against Indiana’s top-ranked Class A team.  

But the Lions’ responses were just not big enough against the Rox, who displayed great poise to reach the semifinals of the Pizza Hut Wabash Valley Classic for the first time since Indiana State forward R.J. Mahurin led the Rox there in 2008.

After pouring in 25 points in Friday’s 59-41 victory, Rockville senior Lane Mahurin will look to lead the Rox one step further than his brother.

Mahurin knocked down 13-of-15 at the free throw line and was 6-of-8 from the field to keep his team unbeaten.

“Last home game I was like 2-for-8 or something [at the foul line]. It’s been like that all year. I’ve been shooting a couple hundred free throws a day, just working on it,” said Lane Mahurin.

“We’re a multi-dimensional team,” coach Dave Mahurin added. “We just try to ride the hot hand whoever that is and tonight it was Lane that was kind of a mismatch for them.”

Mahurin scored 13 points in the first quarter as the Rox scored the final eight points of the opening period to take a 15-7 lead.

After Gary Ulrich’s first 3-pointer of the night made it 20-9 Rockville, Marshall answered with an 8-2 run midway through the second quarter. Coach Tom Brannan’s team had life down just seven, but turnovers eventually caught up with the Lions, who had 22 on the night.

“They popped up to a 20-point lead and we got it down to six one time. Gotta give them credit,” Brannan said of the Rox. “I’m really impressed with their ball club. Lane Mahurin is an outstanding player. In my opinion, he’s maybe the best player here, the way he makes everyone around him better.”

Rockville made a strong push after halftime, building its lead to 43-23 with a 16-3 run. Marshall countered with an 8-0 run — a Walker Berner 3-pointer, Thomas Sisson three-point play and a Taylor Maurer jumper that started the fourth quarter — but Mahurin finished a three-point play to regain the Rox momentum with 5:30 to go.

The Rox maintained it the remainder of the night and hope to carry it into tonight’s 8:30 p.m. semifinal game against 7-2 Sullivan.  

 Lane Mahurin expects his team to be ready to play better tonight.  

“We just talked about our heart [at halftime],” Lane Mahurin said. “We asked each other if we really wanted to win because we weren’t playing like we needed to. It all came down to defense.”

Brannan lamented his team's 22 turnovers in the outcome. Maurer was the only player to score in double figures for Marshall with 10 points.

“We've got to go to work a little bit, learn how to handle pressure better,” Brannan said. “Our two big losses — we lost to Casey bad [early in the season] and here — our point guard had a little trouble handling the ball.”

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