Martin sophomore Andrew Keyzer (right) looks for a lane to the basket as Centreville’s Demarco Taylor provides defensive pressure. (Photo by Jason Wesseldyk)

Clippers fall just short against Centreville

Jason Wesseldyk, Sports Editor

MARTIN—The scoring attack for the Martin boys’ basketball team couldn’t have been more balanced in its non-league showdown with Centreville on Tuesday, Jan. 14.

Six Clippers scored six or more points, including a quartet of double-digit scorers who all finished with 10 (Brandon Buell), 11 (Jonathon Moored and Tanner Curry) or 12 (Garrett Dill) points.

But a big game from Centreville’s Demarco Taylor helped negate that balanced effort.

Taylor scored a game-topping 28 points, with the final two of those snapping a 62-62 deadlock with 21 seconds left to play and lifting the Bulldogs to the 66-62 victory.

First-year Martin coach David Curry’s squad fell to 2-4 with the loss, while Centreville improved to 2-3.

“We were right there,” David Curry said. “We just fell a little short. This is a great group of kids and they’ve already made a lot of improvement. We’re in every game we play. We just need to learn how to finish them.”

In this contest, it was Taylor and the Bulldogs who were able to finish.

With Centreville leading 62-59, Dill knocked down a 3-pointer to tie the game, prompting Bulldog coach Mike Gerard to call a timeout.

The resulting inbounds play saw the ball go to Taylor, who drove to the basket and scored what proved to be the winning points.

“We knew who the ball was going to and who was going to take the shot,” David Curry said. “We went out and tried to deny, but just didn’t get in position to make a play. Give (Centreville) all the credit. They made a great play and their kid was able to finish for them.”

Gerard said his team executed the play to perfection.

“It was a basic sideline play designed for man-to-man coverage,” he said. “As long as we went out and set our picks correctly, we knew we should have a pretty good look and (Taylor) made a good play getting to the basket.”

The game was back and forth throughout, with Martin opening the final frame on a 7-0 run to erase a 52-47 deficit at the end of the third quarter and go up 54-52. Colton Keyzer accounted for the first five of those points, with Buell connecting on a jumper to close out the run.

Centreville responded with a 6-0 spurt to go up 58-54, only to see the score eventually tied on Dill’s 3-pointer to set the stage for Taylor.

“This program’s been down a some in recent seasons, but these kids are working hard and believing in themselves,” Curry said. “Our goal is to restore the pride in this program. And I think by the midway point in the season, you’ll see us starting to win more of these close games.”

Tanner Curry added team highs of 12 rebounds and three assists to go with his 11 points, while Morred had 11 rebouonds. Andrew Keyzer chipped in with six points and three steals.

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