MARION — Damon Hunter scored a game-high 16 points to lead the Lyons boys basketball team to a 67-24 win over Marion Wednesday night. Hunter also grabbed three steals and scored eight points in the first quarter, leading his team to a 13-5 advantage to end the first period.
After taking an early 5-2 lead, the Black Knights (0-5) were held scoreless until halfway through the second quarter as the Lions (3-1) defense dug their claws in and built up a 22-5 lead with 4:02 left in the first half, before Marion freshman Tommy Mattison cracked the ice of the Lions’ deep-freeze defense and scored what would be his team's only field goal of the second period. About a minute later Josh DeSain cashed in triple for the Lions which was the start of a 16-0 run as Lyons built up a 38-7 lead. Mattison made one of two free throws with 1.9 left in the first half and the Lions led 38-8 at the intermission.
"We wanted to work on our zone defense tonight and execute plays," said Lyons senior forward D.J. Long. "We wanted to move the ball and look for a better shot. We just had to put a body in front of somebody and play solid defense."
"Defense," added Lyons coach Zac Young. "We've got to get better defensively and we did a pretty good job the first half. I thought our zone was really active, the last couple years we have been more of a man-to-man team. I think this group, when it comes down to it we've got to go to the zone. But I like both. Tonight we tried to execute some stuff at half court and I think it worked pretty well. And also I wanted to push the ball up. I think Damien (Scott) and Damon (Hunter) did a good job in the second quarter of getting the ball up the court."
In the third quarter, Young’s troops continued to deny the Black Knights from scoring, holding Marion to just six points, while piling up 21 of their own led by Long, who dropped in eight of his 14 points of the night. Lyons led 59-14 at the end of the third.
For most of the final period, Young rested his starters and gave everyone some playing time. Before the final buzzer sounded, nine of of 10 players scored, with three in double figures.
"We just needed to play defense, we have been practicing hard on defense," said Hunter. “We all like each other on the team and we all get along, I think it was pretty good that all the players got to play tonight."
Long netted 14 points, hauling down 12 rebounds of his own. Josh DeSain, Zac Wunder and Chris Peay all hit one 3-pointers and Damien Scott dropped in a pair of 3-pointers, en route to 12 points on the night. Marion was led by Connor Crego who hit two 3-pointers, on his way to lead the Black Knights with seven points.