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Alexander opens sectional play with a bang

Sectional play is under way and it is now win or go home for local area high school teams.

Alexander got off to a strong start, defeating Marion 59 to 27 in the first round of the Class C2 bracket.

The sixth-seeded Trojans overwhelmed 11th-seeded Marion, who only brought five players to the contest.

“We prepared for a few more players,” said Alexander Head Coach Josh Bender. “Before the game started we found out that they were shorthanded, but it was business as usual for us. We brought the right intensity from the start and it was a good overall team victory.”

The Black Knights kept things within striking distance until midway through the second quarter as Alexander was just too much and too deep.

They took a 33-14 lead into halftime and never looked back, extending that lead to 25 at the end of the third quarter before the starters exited for the final time.

Seniors Johnny George and Zach Laird had strong nights in the last home games of their careers, scoring 12 points apiece. Another senior, Zach Dunbar pitched in nine points.

Preston Crego scored a game-high 14 points for Marion (4-15).

Alexander (12-7) will travel to third-seeded Cuba-Rushford on Friday evening in hopes to advance to the Class C2 semifinals.

The Rebels are 15-2 on the season and boast two star guards.

Carl Holmes is averaging 24 points per game on the season, while Caleb Edwards is averaging 20 points per game and both are lethal beyond the three-point arc. In their last contest, Cuba-Rushford made 17 three-point field goals as a team.

“They’re a tough team,” Bender said. “They run and gun; they look to shoot the three. It should be a good battle. They’re a good offensive team and I consider us one of the best defensive teams in the G-R League. It should be a good matchup for us.”

Tip-off will be 7 p.m. Friday at Cuba-Rushford.

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