The boys and girls basketball teams (both varsity and JV) travel to Richmond to take on the Red Devils this Friday, January 30. The schedule is as follows:
Main Gym: Varsity Girls – 6:30; Varsity Boys – 8:00
Aux. Gym: JV Boys – 6:30; JV Girls – 8:00
Boy’s Game Preview: Marion’s boys are 8-7 overall with a 2-3 North Central Conference mark (wins against Anderson/Kokomo and losses to Logansport/Harrison/McCutcheon). Coach James Blackmon, Jr. is in his second year as the head coach of the Giants. The Giants are coming off a big 75-72 home win against No. 2 Class A Liberty Christian. Marion is led by 6’2″ junior guard, Vijay Blackmon, who is averaging nearly 21 points per game. 5’11” sophomore guard Tim Leavell and 6’5 junior wingman, Reggie Jones, round out the double-figure scorers with 12 and 11 points per game, respectively. Leavell had 38 points against NCC foe Kokomo on December 19. Blackmon has scored more than 30 points on two separate occasions. Senior guard, James Butler and Junior forward Jordan Smith each average 7 points per game for the Giants. In last year’s game, Richmond pulled out a 57-53 win at Richmond. This year, they Red Devils are 15-2 and ranked #12 in 4A. Their only losses are to defending 4A State Champion Indianapolis Tech and North Central, the current #3 ranked team in 4A. Head coach Joe Luce is in his 6th year at the school. Before coaching at Richmond, he was the head coach at Marion. Richmond is a veteran team with three seniors scoring in double figures. Davious Webster, Joel Okafor, and Auntonio Brown average 15, 14 and 12 points per game, respectively. Okafor leads the team with 6.4 assists per game.
Girl’s Game Preview: The Marion-Richmond girls game is more than likely the defacto conference championship game. Richmond enters the game undefeated in NCC play. Marion has one loss. After Friday’s game, each team will only have one NCC game left. Provided they both win their finale, the winner of this game would be the NCC champion. Jerry Freshwater’s Marion squad has won 7 of their last 8 games. They are 12-7 overall with a 6-1 record in the North Central Conference (Kokomo is their lone loss). The only NCC loss was Kokomo. The Giants have been led all year by the trio of Senior Dejah Cyrus, Junior Julia Cardwell and Junior Vironnica Drake. Cyrus averages 18 ppg and 9 rpg. Cardwell and Drake both average more than 14 points and 6 rebounds per game. Richmond is 14-5 overall and 7-0 in the NCC. They have won six straight games. They are led in scoring by sophomore Destiny Perkins at 24 points per game. She also averages 4 steals per game. Wright State University bound Mackenzie Taylor averages 18 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists per game. Richmond won last year’s game 53-39.