By PAUL HINES
MT. VERNON —
The Rams finished with a perfect record at Changnon Gymnasium after a 56-51 Friday night win against Marion.
“Nobody can have a better winning percentage in the history of Mt. Vernon,” Mt. Vernon coach Scott Gamber said. “It’s nice to be able to say that. At home we were as good as anybody that’s played here. Saying that, we now have to find ways to win on the road.”
The Rams overcame a slow start and won a matchup that turned into a back and forth game in the second half. Freshman Braden Fitzjerrells led the Rams with 18 points, and Michael Feezer finished with 11 points. Both paced the offense in the final quarter as both teams battled for the lead.
With the game tied at 39 two minutes into the fourth, Feezer hit Fitzjerrells with a pass the freshman turned into two points to give Mt. Vernon a 41-39 edge. Marion never took the lead again as Mt. Vernon hit seven of nine free throws in the final quarter to hold off the Wildcats.
“It was just really nice that we were able to get a win not Senior Night, but our seniors last home game,” Gamber said.
Marion started strong with the opening five points of the game before Feezer ended the drought with a basket. Marion pushed its advantage to 9-2 before Fitzjerrells got the Rams close with five straight points.
Marion maintained its lead throughout the second quarter and took a 24-20 lead into halftime. Mt. Vernon exited the locker room energized and used a strong start to the third quarter to take its first lead of the game at 27-26 after Trevor Flota found Jake Pike for a basket.
“Our guys fought enough to get it to four at half, and then in the second half when they made their run mid to late in the third quarter, again our guys really buckled down,” Gamber said.
Mt. Vernon is 14-10 overall this season and 5-4 in the South Seven Conference.