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Marshall’s Jayden Knox attempts a shot during Friday’s game against Pine Tree.

Moving Friday’s game against Pine Tree to early in the day helped the Mavericks avoid severe weather as they also avoided their first district loss of the year.

The Mavs defeated the Pirates 74-44 and advanced to 19-6 overall and 3-0 in district play. Pine Tree is still in search of its first district win with a record of 0-3 against district opponents.

“It was probably the best defensive game we’ve played all year against a very good Pine Tree team that has three good ball handlers on the floor and sometimes four at any given time,” Marshall head boys basketball coach Bobby Carson said. “Those kinds of teams are hard to press and hard to turn over because anybody can handle the ball. I think coach Boyd put together a great scheme coming in to get the ball out of their hands.”

Jaedon Knox dropped in 15 points to lead the game in scoring. Chris Leonard was right behind him with 13 points and Lyrik Rawls with 12. Jason Tuck scored seven points while James Thomas and Kevin Pinson each tossed in six points. Savion Williams scored five while Ni’Derick Lewis dropped four. Mike Washington came away with three points, Avery Jamison had two and Fred Woolen finished the night with one point.

Kenny Bradshaw led his Pirates in scoring with 14 points. Next in line was Jasiah Wright with 11. J.D. Rockwell and Jadarlon Key scored five points apiece. Joseph Johnson scored three points while Corey Thomas, Torrell Collins and Trey Mumphrey all scored two points each.

Rawls banked in a layup to score the first points of the game. Bradshaw found Collins for the assist to tie the game before Knox knocked down a pair of buckets to give Marshall a 6-2 lead. Wright came up with a layup and was fouled before adding the free throw to complete the three-point play. That put the Pirates within one point, 6-5. Lewis drained a long two to bring it back to three points. Bradshaw drained a long three to tie it up at 8-8. Pinson scored his first points of the game before Knox came up with a steal and layup. The two teams exchanged long threes. Joseph Johnson hit the first from the corner to put Pine Tree within one point. Leonard sank a three on the other end to give Marshall a 15-11 lead. Rawls drove the lane and made it a six-point game, 17-11. Rawls went 1-for-2 on a trip to the foul line before Knox added a bucket to score the last points of the first quarter to make the score 20-11 heading into the second quarter.

Tuck scored the first points of the second quarter on a shot from beyond the arc before Leonard found Williams for the assist and Knox added a pair of layups. That gave Marshall a 29-11 lead. Wright ended Marshall’s scoring streak with a three. Tuck knocked down a three and drew enough contact for the ref to blow the whistle. He then went to the free-throw line where he completed the four-point play. Bradshaw knocked down a three on the other end before the two teams exchanged field goals, making it a 36-19 score. A pair of Marshall field goals a free throw spread the Mavericks’ lead to 41-19 as they headed to the locker room at the half.

Pinson scored the first points of the second half with 5:25 left in the third quarter. That was quickly followed by a bucket from Knox to give Marshall a 45-19 lead. A layup from Rockwell was followed by a three from Rawls and a two from Pinson. Wright and Rockwell each drained a three before Washington did the same on the other end of the court. Bradshaw sank his third three from the top of the key to make the score 53-30. The three point-shooting continued when Leonard pulled the trigger from the corner as the ball found the net. Wright banked in a two for the final points of the third quarter, making the score 56-32 heading to the fourth quarter.

Bradshaw drained a three to score the first points of the fourth quarter. Marshall continued to pour it on. A three and a pair of layups gave the Mavs a 65-37 lead. Moments later, James Thomas found his way inside for an easy bucket. Mumphrey sank a long two to make the score 68-40. James Thomas rebounded a missed shot and put it up for two, spreading Marshall’s lead to 70-41. Jamison got on the board with a floater. Thomas scored Marshall’s final points of the game before Key scored the final points of the game, making the final Marshall 74, Pine Tree 44.

Marshall will return to action Tuesday when it travels to John Tyler while Pine Tree will play host to Lufkin.

“We’ve got to play the same kind of defense,” Carson added. “They’ve got a freshman kid who is really, really good. They’ve got a big kid inside who’s very powerful. He’s six-five or six-six. If we play like this, we can play with anybody. The thing is consistency. We have the capability of being a very good defensive team. I think we showed that tonight. If we play well, we can play well with anybody. If we don’t play well, anybody in our district can beat us. There are no bad teams in this district.”