Hounds down Parkin
JONESBORO -- Fueled by the pinpoint passing of Josh Bateman and the steady inside workmanship of John Clark, the Marmaduke Greyhounds outdistanced the Parkin Tigers 67-58 in finals of the A-AA boys division of the NEA Tournament at Jonesboro's Convocation Center Saturday night.
The Greyhounds would maintain a lead most of the way as they won their first NEA Tournament since 1982.
John Clark seemed to grow in stature in this game. Early on he was troubled inside by Parkin's 6' 5" center Jermey Mars as Mars blocked several shots. However, as the game progressed Clark adjusted and dominated the battle in the paint much of the time, particularly in the rebounding department.
Mar's inside basket at 7:50 of the first quarter put Parkin ahead 2-0. After being fouled while shooting Kyle Richey stepped to the charity stripe at 6:55 and nailed two free throws to equalize the score at 2-2. At 5:26 Mars hit a short jumper after an offensive rebound and Parkin led again at 4-2. When Clark scored inside at 4:54 it was 4-4.
Kendrick Washington's 3-pointer at 3:41 put Parkin back into the lead before Kyle Richey's answering 3-pointer at 3:26 evened things up at 7-7.
When Clark was fouled inside after a nice feed from Richey He stepped to the line at 2:50. His two ensuing free throws gave the Hounds a 9-7 lead, a lead the Hounds would maintain for the remainder of the game.
A paint-basket by Clark and a 3-pointer by Bateman let the Hounds end the quarter with a 10-0 run as they led 14-7 at it's end.
The Hounds stayed comfortably in front most of the second frame. When Bateman threw a long pass that resulted in a lay-up by Bruce Wallace at 4:19 the Hounds enjoyed their biggest lead of the night at 22-10. Well in control, the Hounds were up 29-21 at halftime.
Bateman's ability to hit the open man helped keep Parkin at bay in the third quarter. Time and time again he would pass to one of his teammates for an undefended basket. When Parkin backed off he scored himself. When Parkin closed to within three points behind two 3-pointers by Jamaille Little, Bateman quelled their momentum with a 3-pointer at 3:43 that made the score 39-33 and got the Hounds rolling again. Jordan netted 10 points in the frame and when it ended the Hounds led 49-40.
In the final quarter Parkin cut the Hound lead to 4 points two times. After Kendrick Washington scored inside at 6:20 to make it 50-46, Jordan answered with one of two free throws at 6:03 that made it 51-46. Then Bateman passed inside to Clark who scored at 5:37 as he was fouled. He missed the free throw but the score was 53-46.
Parkin's final chance came with 37 seconds remaining in the game when Tarin Washington's two free throws made it 62-58.
Bateman had the answer again as he passed to Kenneth Barnham on the break who hit the lay-up as he was fouled at 0:30. Barnham hit the free throw making the score 65-58 and Parkin's fuel tank was empty.
Clark led the Hounds in scoring with 18 points and in rebounds with 15. Jordan had 16 points and 6 rebounds. Bateman had 14 points, 12 assists and 5 rebounds. Wallace scored 10 points, Richey had 6 points and Barnham tallied 3 points. Tarin Washington scored 18 for Parkin.
The victory pushed the Greyhound record to 21-2 for the year.
Coach Steve Richey obviously pleased about the game, said, "Winning the NEA Tournament is something Marmaduke hasn't done in a while and we are glad to have won it. Since the BIC loss we have come together. We were 6-2 after BIC beat us and now we have won 15 games in a row."
When asked about the passing of Josh Bateman Coach Richey said, "He averaged about 25 points a game last year. Josh's points per game are down to about 16 or 17 this year, but his assists are up to around 9 a game this year and I guarantee you there is not a happier kid in our locker room after a game.
"John Clark and Shane Jordan have been the main recipients of all those assists. Josh's unselfish play has just made us an all-around better team."
Coach Richey also praised Clark's rebounding and Jordan's defensive effort on Parkin's Tarin Washington.
Richey concluded by saying, "I am proud of these kids, they are not just good ball players, their actions and attitude off the basketball court is noteworthy too."
Marmaduke played three other games at the NEA Tournament.
On Dec. 23 in a second round game they beat Walnut Ridge 77-51 after getting a bye in the first round. Bateman scored 16 points, Richey had 13, Jordan had 9 and Wallace and Clark scored 7 points. Andrew Dodd scored 6, Barnham had 5, Kenneth Boone and Nick Boggs each scored 3 points and Brian Potter, Justin Gilbee, Dane Boggs and Jordan Gott each scored 2 points.
On Dec. 26 the Hounds beat Marked Tree 63-59 in a quarterfinal game. Clark had 22 points and 11 rebounds. Jordan had 18 points and 10 rebounds. Bateman had 12 points and 9 assists, Richey had 6 points and Barnham had 5 points.
Brad Jones scored 30 points for Marked Tree. Rico Brown had 10, Alan Price had 6, Dunaway Barnes and James Williams had 4 points, Cordell McKay and Sugar Ray Jones each scored 2 points and Russell Gray scored 1 point. Marked Tree fell to 3-4 for the season.
The Hounds defeated Weiner 60-57 in a semi-final game on Dec. 27
Clark scored 22 points and had 10 rebounds. Bateman had 19 points with 8 assists. Jordan scored 8 points, Wallace had 6 points, Richey scored 2 points and Dodd had 1 point.