CARBONDALE — Atlexus Green scored a career-high 21 points, which included five 3-pointers, to lead Carbondale to a 45-26 win over Marion in a girls basketball game Tuesday night.
“I usually average around 10 points a game, but tonight my teammates got me open and I found my shot,” Green said.
Carbondale won for the second straight time to improve to 6-0 in the South Seven and 9-7 for the season. Marion lost its third game in a row to drop to 1-4 in conference play, and 10-8 overall.
“When you only score 26 points you aren’t going to win too many games,” said Marion coach Mike Manfredo. “Credit Carbondale’s man defense. She does a good job with them and they stifled us most the night.”
Maddie Doan finished with 11 points, including three 3-point baskets, as the Terriers finished with eight from beyond the arc and only seven other baskets from inside, to go with making 7-of-8 from the free throw line.
“Atlexus Green came to play, making shots, and Maddie Doan made some big shots for us,” said Carbondale coach Marialice Jenkins. “I told our kids it's great when those shots are going in, but we have to keep working on getting more balance inside out and get our transition a little better, so we aren’t relying on stand still threes. But tonight, they were going in. We love it and will take it to go with our free throws. We didn’t shoot enough, but we, at least, hit them.”
The Terriers trailed 9-7 with 3:45 remaining in the first quarter, after Abby Bayer stole the ball and fed Jasa Bell for a running layup, but Elexis Richardson scored with 10.9 seconds remaining to tie the game and Green sank her first 3-pointer from the left corner to open the second quarter to give Carbondale the lead, 12-9. Bell led Marion with 10 points.
Marion responded with a Jordan Turner jumper from the lane and Bell scored from under the basket to regain the lead for the Wildcats at the 2:11 mark. But Green drained two consecutive 3-pointers from the left corner again to give the Terriers an 18-13 lead with 4:51 remaining in the half.
After Bayer drove the length of the court to score on a layup, Green sank her fourth from beyond the arc, and 1:10 later, Maddie Doan hit her second of three 3-pointers to give the Terriers a 24-15 lead at the half.
Green started the second half with her fifth 3-pointer at the 1:52 mark. After Bell split a pair of free throws, Doan stole the ball and fed Green for a layup and Bayer also split a pair of charity tosses, Doan hit a jumper to increase the lead to 14 points.
Bayer came right back with jumper from the lane, but Green drew a shooting foul and made both her attempts to return the lead to 14 points with 1:41 left in the third quarter.
Bayer stole the ball again and this time went the distance for a layup to cut the lead to 12 heading into the fourth quarter. Bayer finished with eight points.
“Defensively we did a nice job on Bayer as a collective group,” Jenkins said. “She’s a good ballplayer and she had to work for every one of her points. That’s what we have to do is make people grind it out every night.”
Brianna Simelton scored the Terriers' first two baskets of the fourth quarter, wrapped around Bayer splitting another pair of free throws. Doan then hit her third 3-pointer to extend the Terriers’ lead to 18 points with 5:58 remaining.
Marion cut the lead to 14 on baskets by Lauryn Kadela and Jackie Drury with 2:37 left.
The Terriers held the Wildcats scoreless for the remainder of the game, while Richardson scored on a jumper with 1:32 left and Hannah Lowndes was sent to the line with 13.1 seconds remaining and made her first, but missed her second for the final margin.