The Marshall Rams surprised everyone this year as they battled to a second place finish in District 27 6A Boys’ Basketball race. Marshall continued their win streak by dispatching Carroll from the bi-district round.
When the dust settled in the second round of the play-offs, Marshall was the only team left from Northside in the hunt for a state title.
Marshall has been one to set a trend as they have the only State Championship in basketball. Tonight 20 years later, Marshall met Clemens with the hopes to reach the regional semi-final round and an eventual ticket to the Alamodome with the opportunity to bring home another State Championship.
If I were a true sportswriter, I would break the game down into the leading scorer, rebounder, and the number of turnovers, and other minutia of the game. However, this would not provide justice to this game.
It is true, Marshall missed too many layups, and the turnovers during the game proved to aid their opponent.
Marshall played defense well during most of the game and they minimalized the big guy “No. 52” a feat not many teams accomplished this season.
Tonight’s game thrilled the audiences. The Rams played with intensity as they hustled along the court.
No. 22 Dorian Lopez proved to be a spark both offensively and defensively. His out of bounds catch with less than two minutes in the game ignited a small run pulling the Rams closer to their opponent.
For those who left the game early missed many of the most exciting moments. I have spent more years than I can recount wearing the stripes, the only time anyone was assure of the outcome of this came was the last eleven seconds.
I know many in the crowd wanted to celebrate victory when the Buffalos enjoyed a 16-point lead. The ref could have started the ten count but the Rams were not down nor were they out at the time.
The Marshall players refused to embrace defeat. A couple of three point baskets and defensive stops and the game is within 4 points. The boys continued to play. They continued to use full court defensive pressure. They recovered from their turnovers and increased the tempo of their play to keep the game close trying to find a victory.
The final horn may have ended on the 2016 season but the memories will last forever. The student body, the parents, and the fans of Marshall Rams filled the stands and unlike their opponent they did not consider the game over and leave early. They stayed. They yelled. They booed. They stood strong for their players.
The next Ram appearance in the play-offs will not take 20 years to come true.