Be it the five players on the floor or right down the team’s bench, Marcus head boys basketball coach Shane Rogers doesn’t feel like he has to look far to find scoring options this season.
The Marauders showcased that depth all across Monday’s non-district home victory over Rockwall, a 53-39 verdict that saw 10 different Marcus players find the bottom of the net.
“Our scoring has been a little inconsistent as far as who we’re getting it from. I thought the extended minutes off the bench allowed those guys to have a bit more of an impact scoring today, but I feel like we can score,” Rogers said. “All 13-14 guys can shoot the ball at a high level and I thought some of those guys who come off the bench did a good job today.”
The Marauders split their scoring right down the middle in Monday’s win. The team’s five starters accounted for 26 points and the bench scored 27. That balance matriculated all over, with no Marcus player scoring more than 10 points — the team-high posted by senior Zane Hicke.
Hicke did the bulk of his damage in the first half with eight points, including a pair of dunks, to stake the Marauders to a 24-17 halftime lead. Hicke got the ball rolling in the second half with a put-back to spark an eventual 20-10 third quarter to boosted the Marcus advantage to 44-27.
The Marauders short-circuited the Rockwall offense with a press that contributed to just three points scored by the Yellow Jackets across the third quarter’s first four minutes. Meanwhile, Marcus got going from beyond the arc, getting a pair of 3-pointers from senior John Wegendt and another from sophomore Dominick Harris to build a 37-20 lead halfway through the frame.
“I thought the press allowed us to get separation, whether it was creating steals or quick opportunities for them. Long shots equal long rebounds, so those were almost like our outlets when they’re shooting 3s and missing,” Rogers said. “I thought we could have had more opportunities to blow it open in the transition game. I didn’t feel like we shot it as well or had as much of an offensive rhythm as we’ve shown previously, but a win’s a win.”
Marcus was slow out of the gates on Monday, not scoring until 3:45 remained in the first quarter after senior Roman Cansino found Hicke for a transition layup to spark what became just a 9-6 lead through eight minutes. The Marauders steadily found their footing in part by accelerating the game’s pace — be it off a Rockwall make or miss, Marcus didn’t wait long to generate a scoring chance on the other the end of the floor.
“It’s something we’ve tried to make a habit of in the offseason,” Rogers said. “It’s been a little hit-and-miss depending on who we’re playing against — against some teams, we want to be a little slower than what we practice, but most of the time we want to create 70-plus possessions a game, and in a 32-minute high school game, that’s going pretty good. It’s our goal to play fast and with pace, whether we’re going in transition or into our early ball-screen actions.”
With Hicke leading the way, Marcus also received nine points off the bench from Cansino, as well as seven points from senior Dallas Dudley and six from freshman Jayden Ramnanan — all reserves. Senior Luke Smith knocked a 3-pointer in the second quarter for his lone basket to go along with seven rebounds — he and Hicke are the lone returning starters for a Marcus team that captured a share of the District 6-6A championship last season, their first conference title since 2012.
“They’ve had to step up and be our leaders. They’re our main guys returning and our two captains from last year’s team,” Rogers said. “I think they’ve done a good job so far being leaders both vocally and by example. We’re going to need them to step up, but I thought today was a good chance for a lot of the other guys to get a chance to play some more minutes than normal.”
The Marauders return to their home court at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday for a meeting against Newman Smith.