January 5, 6, and 7 found the Marietta Indians on the road to compete in the Arbuckle Shootout held at Davis High School.
In their first round game, the Indians faced the Dibble Demons. Dibble led the game at the end of the first quarter 16-12, the half 26-25, and the third quarter 39-34, but in the fourth, led by Antonio de la Torre, the Indians were able to piece together a solid quarter and send the game into overtime, in which they outscored the Demons and won the game, 55-51.
“We saw our boys fight, scratch, and claw to an overtime win,” said Head Coach Kenny Barnes. “We had a great early showing from Juan Lopez, and also received a spark from freshman Aedon Ellison, something he’s been able to do several times this year. And late in the game we were able to depend on Tucker Kirk, Damaron Green, Parker Pharr, and Draven Pope for valuable minutes down the stretch. Just a good team effort.”
High point man was de la Torre, who scored 14 points on the night and went two-for-four from the free throw line. Aedon Ellison had 13 points, Damaron Green and Easton Ballard had nine points apiece, Juan Lopez scored five points, Parker Pharr had three points, and Tucker Kirk tossed in two to round out scoring for the Indians.
On to the semi-final round where the Indians faced the number 11 team in Oklahoma AA boys’ basketball, the Velma-Alma Comets.
From the jump, the undefeated Comets were too much for the Indians, and despite a 17-point fourth-quarter performance from Green, the Indians just didn’t have the stuff to hang with Velma-Alma, losing by a final score of 72-56.
“Even with the loss, we had another good showing from Aedon Ellison, and also had great contributions from Antonio de la Torre and Damaron Green,” Barnes stated. “We dug ourselves an early hole with bad defense in the first quarter, and you just can’t afford to do that with a team like Velma-Alma.
Green led scoring for the Indians, with nine of his 21 points coming from three-point range. Next up was de la Torre, who also hit three from three-point range and scored 13 points. Ballard hit for eight points on the night, Pharr six, Ellison five, Kirk two, and Keeper Cox hit one from the free throw line.
On Saturday, the Indians came up against another buzz saw in the home team Davis Wolves. Although the first quarter score was a close one, with Davis leading the Indians 16-13, by half the Wolves had opened up a 36-18 lead that the Indians struggled to find an answer for.
Davis eventually outscored Marietta 77-51 to win a game in which fans saw 69 combined free throw attempts.
Marietta’s Ellison attempted 22 free throws, making 12 on his way to a 20-point game. He was the Indians’ leading scorer, followed by Green with nine points, de la Torre with seven points, Pharr with five points, Kirk with four points, and Ballard with two points.
“Despite dropping two games, we saw some good things from our kids, and we had a lot of great support from our fans and families, and we’re grateful for that,” Barnes concluded.