They shocked nearly everyone, maybe even themselves.
The Marysville Vikings boys basketball team went on a second half surge Tuesday at Port Huron High School that put them in position to steal the game.
And after 32 minutes of back and forth action, it was the Vikings that escaped with a 27-26 fought victory at Port Huron High School. Dylan Kiger paced Marysville with 11 points and Ross Hinkley scored nine. Jermaine Drake had 11 points to lead Port Huron and Tyler Lee added six in the Macomb Area Conference crossover.
“I think in the second half, the kids figured out they can play,” Marysville coach Ryan Biewer said. “We knew it would be bumps in the road this year after losing all of the seniors from last year. In the second half, we challenged them to step up and have some leaders on the floor.
They had to make plays to win the game and they stepped up and made something happen.”
For a while it didn’t appear the Vikings would even have a chance. In the first half, the Big Reds showed off their skill and athleticism. Port Huron took an early lead and continued to build on it as the first quarter progressed.
It took Marysville nearly six minutes to score. That allowed Port Huron to take a 6-2 lead, that eventually grew to 9-2 by the time the first quarter concluded.
In the second quarter, that lead continued to balloon as Port Huron took a 17-2 advantage with just over two minutes remaining in the half. The Big Reds concluded the first half on a 3-pointer by Drake to take a commanding 20-5 advantage into the break.
“Things were going good and then things went bad,” Port Huron coach Tony Giancarlo said. “We started looking around for someone to take care of it and we didn’t have anyone step up.”
Port Huron was in full control as the second half began, but the tables began to turn quickly. Marysville opened the third quarter on a 7-0 run over the course of the first two minutes. That was more offense than the Vikings had in the entire first half.
But Marysville wouldn’t stop there. They hounded Port Huron with an active 1-2-2 zone that befuddled the Big Reds. While Port Huron cooled off, Marysville began to heat up even more.
With just over two minutes left to play in the third quarter, Dylan Kiger knocked in a 3-pointer to pull Marysville within 22-19. Kiger later added a pair of free throws to pull Marysville within 22-21 to end the third quarter.
The buckets by Kiger helped Marysville outscore Port Huron 16-2 in the third quarter and allowed them to head into the fourth quarter with the momentum.
“We knew we could come back and do it,” Marysville senior Austin Paterson said after scoring four points. “We had to get the ball moving and come back and make shots. Our defense really slowed them down and that helped us. They could only swing the ball up top.”
Despite their lack of offense, the Big Reds still held the advantage late in the fourth quarter until Hinkley completed a 3-point play to tie the game at 26.
Seth Lauth later added a free throw to give Marysville a 27-26 lead with just under a minute to play. Port Huron got a couple chances for the go-ahead basket down the stretch but neither shot went in.
“We came out slower in the second half and we just couldn’t make shots,” Drake said. “We were flat. We are going to learn to come out in the second half like we did in the second half and finish games.”
Marysville (2-1) will return home Friday against Yale, while Port Huron (1-1) will face rival Port Huron Northern the same night.
“We had to play defense and we knew the shots would fall,” Hinkley said. “Our zone shifts momentum. That’s what’s working for us. We know we aren’t going to put up 80 points, we have to win on defense
“This is going to be big for us. “It’s not a league game but its one of our rivals.”
Contact Joseph Hayes at (810) 989-6268 or at email@example.com. Follow him on twitter @Joseph_Hayes11. Listen to him from 4-8 p.m. every weekday on 88.3 FM.