MARLOW — MARLOW — It was a shaky start for the Marlow Outlaws Tuesday night, scoring just 13 points in the first half en route to a 62-53 season opening loss to the Longhorns of Lone Grove.
Leading the way for Marlow was Drew Wortham, who had 17 points on 6-of-14 shooting, including four straight three-point shots in the third quarter. Marlow outscored Lone Grove 20-7 in the third, but couldn’t play enough catch-up after being outscored 17-6 in the first quarter.
Head coach Jason Wilkerson was disappointed in the final outcome of the game, but was pleased at the way his team responded after halftime.
“I am extremely proud of what we did in the second half of that game,” Wilkerson said. “All of those turnovers I think ended up costing us the game, but I’m happy with the effort we gave.”
Marlow had 28 turnovers in the game, with 17 coming in the first half when the game was effectively lost for the Outlaws. They shot 21-for-49 from the field, connecting on just 8-of-21 shots from the free-throw line.
“It was good for us to come out like that because they can see that they can play well and win games,” Wilkerson said. “It’s good for their confidence.”
Sophomore Cody Brown finished the game with 12 points, shooting 5-of-9 from the field while netting 2-of-5 free throws. Junior Halston Harris finished the night with 11 points on 4-of-5 shooting.
In the first quarter, Marlow gave up seven points off turnovers, allowing Lone Grove to come away with several easy lay-ups to build a quick lead. The Longhorns’ leading scorer was D.J. Epley, who had 16 points, as Lone Grove had 10 players score during the game.
“Tonight was a good eye-opener for the guys,” Wilkerson said. “They fought, and we started to climb the ladder a little bit. I think we took 18 charges tonight and that’s something we work on in practice a lot.”
Down 17-6 after the first quarter, both teams experienced sloppy play on offense — failing several times to get any rhythm going up and down the court. Lone Grove was able to take advantage of the many miscues of Marlow, stepping into passing lanes and intercepting Outlaw passes for fast-break points. Lone Grove committed its share of turnovers, ending the game with 17 but benefited from good shooting behind the arc and from the free throw line. Lone Grove was 16-of-28 free throw shooting and 3-of-9 from behind the arc.
“I told the guys at halftime, it’s not impossible to come back and win this ball game,” Wilkerson said. “If you’re down that much, you can do the same to the other team. You can counter whatever they’re doing. If they can get a 20 point lead on you, you can do the same to them.
“You just have to go and fight and protect the ball and be physical. In the second half, we started to do that.”
Marlow will travel to Elgin this Friday night.