Marcellus From the depths of an 0-5 start, the Marcellus boys basketball team now finds itself one of four survivors in the Section III Class B playoffs.
Kyle Hastings scored 22 points to power the no. 12 seed Mustangs past no. 13 seed and two-time defending champion Westhill, 43-35, in Friday night's Class B quarterfinals.
The meeting of OHSL Liberty division rivals and neighbors was a tense defensive struggle throughout. Marcellus and Westhill went to halftime tied at 17-17, and things weren’t much different after intermission as Marcellus led 28-27 heading into the fourth quarter.
But the final frame went the Mustangs' way from the start. Hastings scored 12 of his side's 15 points, including four almost immediately from the start that gave the hosts some breathing room.
“He’s a competitor,” Marcellus coach Jim Marsh said. “He’s a big strong kid who can go to the basket.”
Hastings missed much of the year after suffering an injury playing football. He didn’t dress for the first regular season game against Westhill, an easy Warriors win. Hasting was back for the second meeting, a 21-point Mustangs rout.
“He was the difference in the last two games,” Marsh said.
“We just couldn’t handle (Hastings),” Westhill coach Kevin King said. “He had 22 out of the 43 points. He’s a good player.”
King and his team look non-worried about Hastings and Marcellus at the start. The Warriors built up a 9-2 lead that forced Marsh to use two timeouts. And the Mustangs continued to play poorly, but Westhill failed to build on their advantage.
“We kind of got away from what got us to nine,” King said “We did some good things moving away from the zone and started going to some of the things we didn’t want to do.”
Marsh felt his team was a little too anxious to perform in front of the large crowd.