Murphysboro tames Bobcats
Big third quarter run puts away hosts, 59-41
Double-technical dooms Meridian in loss

– For head coach Daryl Murphy getting a win on the road at Mounds Meridian on a Saturday afternoon was very important.

After coming off of a good win Friday night over Harrisburg, the Red Devils were a bit sluggish at the beginning of their matinee on Saturday, according to their long time mentor.

But they took advantage of a second quarter Meridian “melt-down” and pulled away for a 59-41 victory.

They were led in scoring by senior guard Corbin Guthman with 19-points while junior guard De3zmond Clark tossed in 11.

Freshman guard Calvon Clemons added 10-points for the Red Devils, who is an important player who got moved up to the varsity recently and has been a shot in the arm for this team.

Jamar McZeke added nine-points for Murphysboro as they improved to 10-5 on the season.

All four of those players played a big role in the second quarter run that came about by Meridian head coach Jared Staple “losing his cool” at the 2:09 mark of the second quarter.

The Red Devils led just 27-23 when they came up with a couple of key possessions that helped change the momentum.

Guthman scored on the baseline and then on the next trip, McZeke drove to the basket and scored while being fouled by OJ Matthews.

Before the free throw was taken, Coach Staple received his first technical foul.

He continued to argue and was issued a second technical and was ejected from the game.

Murphysboro leaped at the chance and, after McZeke missed his free throw, Guthman hit 3-of-4 technical tosses.

On the next Murphysboro possession, sophomore guard JaQuan Jackson canned a 3-pointer which extended the lead to 37-23.

“They had got it down to three, I think, and then we got it back up to 11. Then we came out in the second half and were able to stretch it (the lead) out a little bit,” said Coach Murphy. “I thought the second, third and fourth quarters we played pretty well.”

Meridian was led by senior Eddie Robertson with 16-points while senior Norris Young added eight.

Junior guard Jaylen Easley added five-points for the Bobcats, who saw their mark slip to 5-11 on the season.

Easley scored on a conventional three-point play after the Murphysboro run, but the Bobcats still trailed 37-26 at halftime.

Guthman added eight-points to his total in the third quarter as the Red Devils were never threatened the remainder of the contest.

The senior hit a couple of mid-range shots from near the foul line and when he missed a 3-pointer, McZeke picked up an offensive board for a stickback.

When the Guthman was done with his run, his team led 47-28.

The Bobcats made one small run in the fourth quarter, getting a pair of scored from Robertson and a basket by junior Angel Clark, which brought the score to 49-37.

But the Red Devils closed the book with a 10-0 run.

Clark and Clemons did most of the damage, scoring four-points each in the scoring spree.

Clark grabbed a long rebound and sprinted to the other end for a lay in that began the conquest.

Clemons added a pair of free throws and a transition basket and Clark added a rebound tip-in.

A backdoor cut to the basket by senior guard Logan Evans ended the run at 59-37.

“Calvon Clemons, our freshman guard, gave us another ball-handler. Before we were turning the ball over like you wouldn't believe. But now, with him out there, we have things under control,” said Coach Murphy.

With both teams playing out the game with reserves, the Bobcats added 4-of-6 free throws.

Murphysboro finished the contest hitting 20-of-43 overall (46.5 percent), 2-of-11 from the 3-point circle while hitting 17-of-23 from the free throw line.

The Red Devils, after some early struggles, committed 12 total turnovers, but just three in the second half until the final moments with reserves on the floor.

Coach Murphy saw his club hammer the glass, out-rebounding the hosts 33-24.

Meridian ended up 16-of-49 overall from the field and 5-of-16 from the arc.

Murphysboro will head back to action on the road next week, with conference games at West Frankfort on Tuesday and at Benton on Friday.

Meridian will play Madison at their annual “Martin Luther King Classic” on Saturday, January 12.

“I thought we did an excellent job on the glass. We have went to a small lineup and I was worried about our rebounding but everyone has been blocking out and we are playing better defensively now,” said Coach Murphy. “We are just a better basketball team.”

Mounds Meridian
Murphysboro (59) – Clark 3 0 5-6 11, McZeke 4 0 1-3 9, Jackson 2 1 1-1 8, Evans 1 0 0-0 2, Myers 0 0 0-0 0, Eovaldi 0 0 0-0 0, Clemons 3 0 4-4 10, Guthman 5 1 6-9 19.
2FG-18, 3FG-2, FT-17-23, PF-14.

Mounds Meridian (41) – Bartlett 1 0 0-0 2, Moore 0 1 0-0 3, Robertson 4 2 2-2 16, Young III 4 0 0-0 8, Clark 1 0 0-0 2, Amerson 0 0 2-2 2, Johnson 0 0 0-0 0, Cook 0 0 0-0 0, Kaufman 0 0 0-0 0, Tucker 0 0 1-2 1, Mathews 0 0 1-4 1, Easley 1 0 3-3 5, Wiggins 0 0 1-2 1.
2FG-11, 3FG-5, FT-4-10, PF-15

Fouled Out – None
Technical Fouls – Meridian Bench (2).