HALLSVILLE – Marshall and Hallsville’s boys basketball teams battled it out a close matchup Tuesday night when the Mavericks pulled away in the fourth quarter to defeat the Bobcats 53-47.

Marshall advances to 11-1 in district play while the Bobcats are 4-8.

Jaeden Knox was Marshall’s leading scorer with 14 points. Savion Williams scored 11 while James Thomas scored nine points. Chris Leonard scored seven and Lyrik Rawls tossed in six points. Ni’Derrick Lewis finished the night with two points.

Ben Samples led Hallsville in scoring with 15 points. Ryan Pondant was next in line with 11. Jai Locario and Taven Jackel each scored five points. David Ruff dropped in four points while Danny Marr scored three. Taylor Sheffield and Zachar Florence each recorded two points.

The Two teams were knotted up at 4-4 early. Lewis’ bucket gave Marshall the lead. Moments later, Williams knocked down a jumper before Tuck dished off for his second assist to Thomas. That made the score 15-9 heading into the second quarter.

Marr drained a three to start the second quarter, cutting Marshall’s lead in half. Benson was fouled while attempting a three and sent to the free-throw line where he tied it up at 15. Leonard broke tie with a jumper then found Knox for the assist to give the Mavericks a 19-15 lead. Marshall was up by two before Samples drained a long three to put Hallsville on top, 22-21. The Bobcats came up with a steal that resulted in a bucket from Pondant, giving Hallsville a 24-21 lead and forcing Marshall to call timeout.

Rawls tied it up at 26 with a three to start the second half. Knox went 1-of-2 from the free-throw line to put the Mavs back in the lead, 27-16. He then tossed in three to make it a four-point lead. Pondant and Benson each added a bucket to tie the game up at 32-32. A dunk from Williams gave the Mavs the lead back before a technical foul sent Locario to line where he went 1-of-2. That set up a jumper from Samples to give the lead back to Hallsville, 35-34. A bucket from Leonard and another from Knox game the Mavs a 38-35 lead heading into the fourth quarter.

Pondant scored the first two points of the fourth quarter from the free-throw line before Leonard drained a three. Rawls went 1-of-2 from the line before Williams added a layup. That gave Marshall a 44-37 lead and forced Hallsville to call timeout with 5:26 remaining. Thomas tipped in a missed shot and added another bucket on the next possession. Kocario dropped in a two before Knox did the same. Jackel then pulled the trigger on a three that found its way into the net, cutting Marshall’s lead to eight points and forcing a timeout with 3:02 to go. Moments later, Samples drained a three before Pondant added a two. That made the score 51-47 with 43 seconds remaining. Rawls gave his team some breathing room with a free throw as the time began to tick. Hallsville had the ball with 15 seconds and threw up an air ball that was recovered by the Mavs. Rawls went 1-for-2 from line again to seal up the 53-47 win.

Marshall is slated to return home for senior night Friday when it plays host to Nacogdoches for the district championship. The Bobcats will travel to Lufkin.