CARBONDALE — The Carbondale and Marion boys basketball teams each picked up decisive victories on Wednesday in the opening round of the 54th Annual Johnny Mac’s Carbondale Holiday Tournament at SIU Arena.

Darius Beane paced Carbondale with 23 points in its 54-35 win over Logan County, Kentucky. Jackson Connor scored 16 points in Marion’s 45-31 victory over McCluer, Missouri.

Carbondale (10-2) played well in the middle quarters, but was inconsistent early and late in its contest.

“I think it all starts with focus when you come into an arena like this,” said Carbondale coach Jim Miller. “It’s very special to play at SIU. But it’s about focus. We weren’t focused in the first quarter or in the fourth quarter. We had too many turnovers during those times and missed too many free throws.”

The Terriers made just 4 out of 14 attempts from the charity stripe. Beane started and finished an 8-0 run with baskets for Carbondale in the second quarter. That gave the Terriers a 21-9 advantage.

James Baltz scored three straight baskets for Carbondale, which finished the first half strong and took a 27-14 lead into halftime.

Carbondale played well in the third quarter. Baltz scored off a nice feed from Beane, and Beane converted a three-point play as the Terriers amassed an 18-point advantage.

Beane added six assists, six rebounds and two steals to his stat line.

“Darius did a great job of including people in that third quarter, and I think that was very critical for us,” Miller said. “Our other kids need to stop deferring so much to Darius. Quit watching Darius play and get involved. He will run the offense and find our kids. But when a shot presents itself, some of our kids need to shoot the ball more.”

Baltz contributed eight points for Carbondale. Austin Rayno led Logan County with 14 points.

In the nightcap, Marion played a great fourth quarter to pull away from McCluer.

It took the Wildcats nearly three minutes to score a point in the final period. But once Jaden Lacy made a bucket, the Wildcats woke up.

Lacy scored six of his 13 points during a 9-0 run to begin the fourth quarter. Korey Houston added a basket and assisted to Lacy on another bucket during the streak.

Connor racked up nine of his 16 points in the first half, including a personal 5-0 run in the final two minutes of the second quarter.

Terrell Henderson was tough in the paint for Marion early in the contest. The 6-foot-5 forward scored a pair of baskets in the paint as the Wildcats (8-2) jumped out to a 9-3 advantage.

Connor finished off the first quarter with a highlight reel play. The Marion sophomore grabbed a Lacy miss and threw it back down for a 13-7 advantage.

Jeremiah Johnson led McCluer with 10 points.

Both Marion and Carbondale play at the high school this evening. Carbondale takes on Memphis Central at 6:30 p.m. Marion plays Memphis University High at 8 p.m.


On Twitter: @SIPrepSports