By Bonta Hill
Those in attendance at Marshall High School Wednesday night perhaps watched the best shooting display they’ll see all season.
Visiting University High School put on a long-range shooting clinic against Marshall, making 18 three-pointers on the night, and the Red Devils never trailed as they raced past the Phoenix 97-75.
University (4-0) senior guard Noah Springwater continued his torrid start to the season by leading all scorers with 33 points, including six three-pointers, to go along with 14 rebounds and four steals.
“That was a good one, for sure,” Springwater said, cracking a smile. “We pride ourselves on our shooting ability, and we know we can shoot. We all trust each other to knock down shots.”
Springwater, who shot 12-of-24 from the field, scored 20 of his points in the first half as University broke open the game in the second quarter by outscoring Marshall 26-12. The Red Devils took a 51-34 lead into halftime and that was the Phoenix (4-2) would not get any closer.
Marshall head coach Desmond Miles was also amazed at the way University shot after his team suffered their second defeat of the season.
“That was phenomenal,” said Miles shaking his head. “We couldn’t defend it with the zone [defense], nor with the man defense tonight. I just have to give them everything and they were the better team tonight.”
The Phoenix, which only had six players in uniform, got standout efforts from John Sears and Travelle Johnson. Sears led Marshall in scoring with 29 points, and Johnson added 23, but the duo could not overcome University’s hot shooting from behind the arc.
“That may have been the best shooting night in my six years at University,” said Red Devils head coach Randal Bessolo. “We like being the aggressor, and this was a game when it was going to be aggressor on aggressor, so we just told the [team] it was going to be a fun game.”
University finished 18-for-42 from three-point range and when it seemed Marshall would try to make a run, the Red Devils left no doubt how who was the better team on the court, even playing against a team with more athleticism.
Red Devils senior Matt Schneider scored 17 points of his own, including five three-pointers, and acknowledged that this was their first test of the season.
“It was pretty fun, and whenever you shoot the ball like that, the game just seems easy,” Schneider said. “Our offense is built around shooting threes, so when we’re making it, the offense just flows.”
Miles was proud of his team for fighting through the end, but on a night when University were ripping the nets from the perimeter, there was not much the Phoenix and the pressure defense could do to stop the Red Devils.
“It’s difficult when you only have six guys, but I’m taking nothing away from them, they were solid on both ends of the court,” Miles said. “They shot the ball well, defended well, and took care of the ball.”
Noah Springwater – 33
Matt Schneider – 17
Chris Mah – 13
Will Carroll – 10
James Burton – 8
John Sears – 29
Travelle Johnson – 23
Theoatis Hill – 16
Jimmy Yeung – 3
Two players tied with 2 points