And-1 Mixtape: Contact doesn't faze Marcus in rout of Plano East
FLOWER MOUND -- Marcus' girls basketball team drew 24 fouls Friday in its non-district contest against Plano East.
Six times they still scored.
In the second quarter alone Marcus had a quartet of and-1s that helped the Lady Marauders pull away from the Lady Panthers in an 80-22 victory.
"That's something we focus on in practice," said Fred Jones, Marcus head coach. "We do a contact drill, a ball-body-man drill where we focus on creating contact and scoring. Tonight, we finally saw some of the dividends of working those drills."
Morgan Easley paced Marcus with a game-high 17 points, including 12 in the second half, to go with seven rebounds while Vanessa Jones posted 14 points with a trio of 3-pointers. Alex Lapeyrolerie and Ashley James followed with 11 and 10 points, respectively, with the former recording a team-high eight rebounds. Jenna Davis contributed nine points and seven rebounds for Marcus.
"Rebounding is key and we've rebounded well the last couple of games," Jones said. "Alex came in off the bench and got some big rebounds and a bunch on the offensive end. That makes us a different team."
Already missing multiple players due to injury, East struggled against the Marcus defense early committing 13 first-half turnovers as it fell behind at the break, 45-12.
The Lady Panthers finished with 30 turnovers.
"The biggest thing for us was intensity," said LaGwenna Morrow, East head coach. "I think we picked it up on offense and it might have even related to some of our turnovers. Maybe our intensity didn't match our teammates looking for the ball. I'm not necessarily upset with the turnovers because the intensity came with that. We just have to fine tune and catch the ball and square up and look. I was proud of the energy we played with even though the score doesn't reflect it."
Morrow credited sophomore Tyra Gatson for her support of freshman Daria McCutcheon at the point guard position. Senior Jordan Welch, meanwhile, utilized her size in the post and led the Lady Panthers with eight points.
"[Welch is] a senior leader," Morrow said. "She was solid for us at the post area. She got taken out a little bit with fouls and had to refocus. She's pretty solid for us and we definitely need her senior leadership on the floor."
Marcus came out hot from the start with Morgan Easley finding Jones for a corner 3-pointer on the Lady Marauders' first possession. Jones then found James for a cutting layup, before James got Easley into the scoring act with an assist in transition for a quick 7-0 advantage.
Marcus would see its lead reach 16-1 prompting a timeout from Morrow. The Lady Panthers responded out of the break with a basket by Gatson from McCutcheon and would pull to within 20-8 at the end of the first quarter.
"I think we came out with a lot of energy and that made the difference," Jones said. "We started out strong. One through 10, all of the girls were ready to play."
Marcus' parade to the line began early and the team never looked back.
The Lady Marauders converted 10 of its 17 free throws in the first half and also shot 16-of-28 from the field, including 13-of-19 on 2-point field goals as they went in front, 45-12, at the break.
"Without a doubt we're starting to develop an identity offensively," Jones said. "The girls are starting to know their roles and now we're starting to see that in the point total going up. That's been the biggest improvement from earlier in the year to now; the girls know their role and where they fit into the system."
Marcus continues at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at McKinney Boyd while East goes on the road at 6:30 p.m. Friday against John Paul II.