Dragons upset the Explorers in Ramey Shootout! – Bob Ryan Blog

Bob Ryan SMSN logoDragons upset the Explorers in Ramey Shootout! Click here to view the game

     Many observers thought that the St Mary’s Dragons had their back against the wall on Saturday as they made their way through the slushy roads to McCluer North to face the Marquette Explorers in the Ramey Showdown Shootout. The Dragons had dropped their last 2 games and were 1-2 for the season, were missing 3 starters who were taking the ACT test and facing the 7-1 Explorers. St Mary’s didn’t feel, or play, that way as they toppled the Explorers 69-59 in their best game of the year as they led from wire to wire.

Coming out on-fire, SM scored a season-high as they dropped in 23 points in the 1st quarter.  Josh Robinson and Matt Causino were draining in shots from beyond the arc as the Dragons raced out to a 23-16 lead. Meanwhile, Marquette was led by 6-4 Deion Lavender who WAS the Explorer offense throughout the game. Lavender finished the game with 53 of the Marquette 59 points! Time and again, he pulled up for long range shots that found the bottom of the net. SM kept changing their defender against Lavender. When guarded by a shorter guard, he posted up. When guarded by a taller defender, he was too quick for them. Lavender scored 14 of the Explorer points in the quarter.

    The second quarter saw both teams slow down a bit offensively. SM had several good minutes from Zach Ortineau, who rebounded especially well in the 2nd quarter. Vern Rulo hounded Lavender, hit a 3 and moved the ball crisply. Robinson continued scoring points and had 16 by halftime when SM led 33-26. Lavender had 24 of the 26 for Marquette at this point!

     The 3rd quarter was an even quarter as Marquette edged the Dragons 16-15 for the quarter but trailed 48-42 at the 3rd quarter buzzer. Causino, heated up again and hit some more 3-balls (he finished with 6 treys for the game). Jake DeWeese, who led the team in rebounds with 10, was very strong on the boards in this quarter. Robinson continued scoring at his usual prolific rate.

     The 4th quarter brought some excitement for both teams. Marquette, behind Lavenders brilliant shooting, slashed the lead to just 6 points with about 3-4 minutes remaining. The Explorers rally centered around their use of a 1-2-2 half court/ ¾ court press forcing Robinson to give up the ball. The Dragons adjusted.  Soph. Melvin Robinson, given more space underneath, had a break-out quarter as he scored 8 points and crashed the boards hard. Robinson, continued to get the ball and get fouled. He converted them into key points. He was 10 of 15 from the line with many in the final stanza. In the final minute, SM pulled away again to walk off 69-59 winners.

     Deion Lavender’s 53 point game was really incredible. With some college scouts on hand, I’m sure that he elevated his name on their lists. On the other bench, Causino’s 20 points took some pressure off Robinson. DeWeese and Melvin Wilson rebounded and scored on some key “put-back” baskets. Josh Robinson, the leading scorer in the area finished with 32 points (which actually dropped his average!) SM scored over 20 points in two different quarters, knocked down ten 3-balls and demonstrated some offensive firepower.  Click here to view the game

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