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It's the compliment a high school basketball coach might not necessarily want to hear, no matter how accurate or well meaning it is.

"They're better than their record," Marshall coach John Webber said about West Vigo on Wednesday night, a few minutes after his Lions had beaten the Vikings 66-54 in their interstate rivalry.

It was the 21st win of the season for the host team, while its visitors are currently stuck at five victories.

But Gabe Newhouse got West Vigo off to a quick start, and although the Lions had the lead by the end of the first quarter and never gave it up, it was still a seven-point game at 53-46 heading into the fourth quarter.

A game there for the taking, in other words, and that's what Marshall did.

Lance Rees opened the final quarter with a layup, and Jadon Wallace connected from long range, both baskets set up by Jesse Burdick. Burdick then scored twice himself, assisted by Daniel Tingley both times, and Ethan Keown tracked down a long rebound and scored with it.

In slightly more than three minutes, the Vikings had gone 0 for 5 from the field with two turnovers and the Lions had gone on an 11-0 run.

"We had a lapse of a couple of minutes where [the Lions] went on a run," coach Joe Boehler of West Vigo said afterward. "That put us a little too far behind to get back in the game."

Newhouse blocked Marshall's first two shots, driving for a basket after the first one and a 3-pointer by Sean Roberts resulting from the second rejection, but the Lions weren't flustered.

A basket by Burdick gave the Lions their first lead at 8-7. Two straight baskets by Newhouse brought the visitors back into a 12-11 lead, but Rees scored inside. After a free throw by Case Lautenschlager, Wallace broke the last tie with a pair of free throws and Ben Ross followed with a 3-pointer.

Roberts scored for West Vigo, but Wallace beat the first-quarter buzzer with a trey and Marshall led 21-15 despite West Vigo's best efforts.

"Our guys were prepared and ready to play," Webber said afterward. "We told them not to look at the records, and I felt our guys executed very well . . . and we shot the ball pretty well as well."

Marshall got the first seven points of the second quarter, wrapping up a 10-0 run that had the Lions ahead 28-15, but then it was West Vigo's turn to battle back. Lautenschlager had two of the baskets in the Vikings' 10-4 run and it was 32-25 at halftime.

Both teams played well in an entertaining third quarter, with both Newhouse and Lautenschlager hot for the Vikings — who hit 9 of 13 shots from the field in those eight minutes — and Wallace and Keown each hitting a pair of 3-pointers for Marshall. But then came the decisive spurt.

Wallace finished with a game-high 24 points and also led all rebounders with eight for Marshall. Keown scored 14, Burdick 10, Rees had eight points and six rebounds and Tingley — who had just one basket — had 10 assists and five steals.

Newhouse had 19 points for West Vigo, with Lautenschlager adding 13 and Roberts 11.

"I can't fault our effort," Boehler said afterward. "We were right there in the game, and Marshall's a really good team.

"We had some good individual performances — Gabe's start got him some confidence, and Case had some misfortune early but came back and finished really strong," the coach added.

"I still feel like we're getting better, and not that far away," Boehler concluded. "If we ever learn to play a full 32 minutes, we'll have the opportunity to do some damage."

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