Energized Spartans roll past Grand View, 77-47
|Southwestern sophomore Chase Blazek of Creston (31) passes to teammate Brett England of Diagonal (20) for an assist on England's 3-pointer Thursday night. England and Blazek hit back-to-back 3-pointers for the final points in the Spartans' 77-47 home victory. (CNA photo by LARRY PETERSON)|
All-region sophomore Marquealis Edwards launched the long-range attack with 21 points, and post players Devin Kastrup and Jack Harrison combined for 20 more in a dominating Southwestern victory here Thursday night.
The Spartans (11-11) defeated Grand View JV, 77-47.
Edwards sank five 3-pointers and led the Spartans to a 42-23 halftime lead by netting 15 points in the opening 20 minutes. Kastrup, a 6-8 sophomore, and Harrison, 6-7 freshman, controlled the inside play along with 6-8 freshman Jared Theis off the bench.
Grand View’s JV was undersized in this matchup, borrowing 6-6 varsity player Malaki Wills from the varsity to help Thursday night. A pair of 6-4 wing players, Kelvin Mackey and Darious Hargrove, were the next tallest Vikings.
Hargrove finished with a team-high 16 points and former Interstate 35 guard Brody Brownlee tallied 14.
“They had the disadvantage of being kind of small, off the bench, especially,” said SWCC coach Mike Holmes. “You have to take advantage of your mismatches. It’s kind of odd for us to be the big team in a mismatch, but we’ll take it.”
Charged with part of the duty of covering Edwards for the Vikings was 6-2 sophomore Luke Eblen of Creston.
“(Edwards) is by far their best athlete and one of the better players they’ve had here in a while,” Eblen said.
Eblen plays small forward and sometimes the “four” position down low since the Vikings lost some of their inside depth this year. He was a point guard for coach Jim Calkins at Creston.
“We’re not a very big team,” Eblen said, “and I’m not the shortest guy here. It helped having Wills with us tonight.”
Despite the loss and lack of size, Eblen said the JV is having some success.
“We’re 7-9 and go to St. Ambrose tomorrow night for our last game,” Eblen said. “If we get one more win we’ll tie our JV record for wins. We play a lot of these jucos, which is good competition in getting us ready for varsity.”
For Holmes, it was a successful detour off the conference grind, before jumping back into league play Saturday at home against Clinton Community College at 1 p.m.
“We had good energy on both ends of the floor,” Holmes said, “which is what we wanted.”
All 10 Spartans playing in the game scored. Trevor Kayser, 6-6 sophomore, is not quite ready to play in recovering from knee surgery, but reported after the game he’s “getting close.” Guard Patrick Negri is also sidelined by injury.
It was a local trifecta of sorts, as Eblen and Southwestern reserves Chase Blazek of Creston and Brett England of Diagonal all finishing with one 3-pointer. England and Blazek put the finished touches on the 30-point victory with their treys.
“They’ve been doing a good job for us in practice and getting us prepared,” Holmes said. “They have enthusiasm.”
Blazek got medical clearance to play a week ago after being injured in an auto accident during the holiday break.
GRAND VIEW JV (47) — Darius Hargrove 6 1-2 16, Brody Brownlee 5 0-0 14, Malaki Wills 3 2-5 8, Kelvin Mackey 2 0-0 4, Luke Eblen 1 0-0 3, Sean Lastovka 1 0-0 2. Totals — 18 3-7 47. 3-point goals — 8 (Brownlee, Hargrove 3, Eblen 1). Team fouls — 14. Fouled out — None.
SOUTHWESTERN (77) — Marquealis Edwards 8 0-0 21, Delby Halcomb 4 3-3 11, Devin Kastrup 5 1-1 11, Larry Mason 3 2-3 9, Jack Harrison 4 1-2 9, Marcus Littleton 1 1-2 4, Patrick Wright 2 0-2 4, Chase Blazek 1 0-0 3, Brett England 1 0-0 3, Jared Theis 1 0-0 2. Totals — 30 8-13 77. 3-point goals — 9 (Edwards 5, Mason 1, Littleton 1England 1, Blazek 1). Team fouls — 11. Fouled out — None.
Grand View JV — 23 47
SWCC — 42 77
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