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Boys Basketball | Noelle paces Marion past Riverview Gardens

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Marion's Evan Noelle throws a pass during a game between Marion and Carbondale at Cuss Wilson Gymnasium in Marion.

MASCOUTAH — Senior guard Evan Noelle erupted for 23 points Tuesday to lift the Marion Wildcats to a 49-24 beatdown of St. Louis-based Riverview Gardens in second-round action at the Mascoutah Tip-Off Classic.

With the win, Marion improves to 1-1 on the season and will face the host Mascoutah Indians at 7:30 p.m. Friday.

Noelle tallied eight two-point field goals, one 3-pointer, and was 4-of-4 from the free-throw line in garnering his 23 points. Junior guard Nick Ucci was solid, as well, notching 15 points, including three triples and three conventional field goals.

No other Marion player reached double figures.

Brady Jackson had a 3-pointer. Nehemiah Goodman, Talon Hance, Kyan Cole and Reece Anthony all collected two points.

Jamaun Pruitt and Justin Barsh each fired in eight points to lead the Rams, now 0-2 in tourney play.

The Wildcats led at each quarter break: 14-4, 25-12, and 36-18.

Marion assistant coach Scott McKenty said the Wildcats bounced back well from Monday's loss to Collinsville.

"It was a good team win for us tonight. Our defensive effort was impressive and we rebounded well, particularly in the second half," McKenty said. "We've got some kids who are playing hard and I think we're just going to keep getting better and better as the season wears on."

McKenty added that Noelle has the skill set to beat his man off the dribble and drive to the basket or pull up for a 3-pointer.

"I thought he was aggressive and took the ball hard to the basket tonight."

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