Boys Basketball: Marshall stuns Lincoln with fourth-quarter comeback in AAA semis

Marshall sophomore guard Mizell Parker drives through the Lincoln defense on Wednesday at Kezar Pavilion. (Photo by Devin Chen)

By Bonta Hill

Down seven points with 5:13 left in the game, it seemed Marshall High School’s boys basketball team was exhausted and out of gas in the Academic Athletic Association semifinals against Lincoln.

But the Phoenix went on a 14-0 run over the next four minutes to pull ahead in a 52-47 win on Wednesday at Kezar Pavilion, upsetting the AAA’s best team in the regular season.

Marshall senior center Mark Alexander eyes the basket against Lincoln on Wednesday at Kezar Pavilion. (Photo by Devin Chen)

Senior center Mark Alexander was the catalyst once again for Marshall (15-12), leading the Phoenix with 16 points, 22 rebounds and seven blocks.

“What Mark did today was unbelievable, just phenomenal,” said Marshall head coach Dezebee Miles. “But that’s what he’s been doing for us all year. We’re never out of it with him and we depend on him to do what he does for us.”

Sophomore forward Preston Demming contributed 13 points, including 10 in the fourth quarter, and Marshall will be aiming to win its first AAA championship in school history.

“It got grim there for a minute in [the fourth quarter], but one thing I knew was that my guys wouldn’t stop fighting until the game was totally over with,” Miles said. “I knew if we could get two stops and two baskets, we’d be right back in the game.”

Marshall led through most of the contest until Lincoln forward Douglas Snoddy made a free throw that gave the Mustangs a 31-30 lead with 2:35 left in the third quarter.

Lincoln (20-13) then got back-to-back 3-pointers from guards Mitchell Lee and Chris Young, part of a 11-2 run to give the Mustangs a 37-32 lead.

One area that led to Lincoln’s demise was the free-throw line. The Mustangs shot 9-for-26 from the charity stripe and had six turnovers in the final quarter.

“We weren’t strong with the ball and we didn’t show enough patience [offensively], especially when we got the lead,” said Lincoln head coach Matt Jackson. “Going 9-for-26 from the line did not help. We’ve been around a 70 percent free-throw shooting team.”

Lincoln senior guard Ares Brown is trapped between two Marshall defenders on Wednesday at Kezar Pavilion. (Photo by Devin Chen)

After a layup from Snoddy gave Lincoln its largest lead of the game at 44-37, Marshall’s comeback began.

After consecutive baskets cut the lead to 44-40, a block from Alexander started a Marshall fast break, with Demming finishing a layup.

Alexander was the steady force for the Phoenix, who have had only seven players on their roster for most of the season. While altering several Lincoln shots and grabbing rebound after rebound, the 6-foot-6 center was just thankful for the opportunity to play in Friday’s championship.

“It feels great to move on to the championship as a senior,” Alexander said. “I’ve never been to the championship and it feels great to do it with this team.”

Scoring Summary

Mark Alexander – 16
Preston Demming – 13
Mizelle Parker – 11
Aumen Holliday – 7
Jason Smith – 5

Ares Brown – 15
Chris Young – 7
Nick Young – 7
Mitchell Lee – 6
Douglas Snoddy – 5

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  1. JJ says:

    I gotta like Marshall’s chances to take the championship. I think they have a better defense than Mission. I also think Alexander the Great will get at least 10 blocks on Friday. It should be extremely noisy at Kezar. Hope to be there.

    • GCJ 01 says:

      Marshall and Mission split the season series (with Marshall beating Mission the last time they played). The game will be close, but I think Mission will come out with the victory. However, if Alexander steps his game up from how he played today, Marshall will probably win.

  2. GCJ 01 says:

    Congrats to Marshall. In the last meeting between the two (last week) Lincoln blew out Marshall by 21 points. This just shows that the post season is a whole different season. Looks like it’s Mission vs. Marshall in the championship. Mission is still my pick, but good luck to both schools.

    Just out of curiosity, after the consecutive baskets that were made, wouldn’t the score be 44-41 since Marshall had 37? A basket could’ve been made, but there would’ve had to had been a freethrow made to make the score 40 (and freethrows do not count as a field goal).

    “After a layup from Snoddy gave Lincoln its largest lead of the game at 44-37, Marshall’s comeback began.

    After consecutive baskets cut the lead to 44-40, a block from Alexander started a Marshall fast break, with Demming finishing a layup.”

  3. Alumni Ric says:

    Congratulations to Marshall, is this the first championship game of any kind for Marshall?

  4. Lincoln Fan says:

    It seems everyone on that team did what they usually do except for Chris young. This was bound to happen though with the head Coach trying to change his all around game just to an attacking game. If anything the Coach needs to be fired. two years in a row with a great team and can’t even get to the finals, and then he’s pushing his players and cursing them out. Like Obama said,”It’s time for change.”

    • Money Miles! says:

      aye watch what u say.! how would u know anything about coaching (Lincoln Fan). any good team losses to the underdogs. and the fact this its coach Matts 2nd year as a head coach taking Coach Mikes (RIP) place after he past away. how you can you say he should be fired after what he has done tiot his program. he has won a JV champioship and won the Lang Divion/ came in 1st place. Mission Has a GREAT COAch and still Lost last year in the championship. but he not gnna get fired, so what u sayin.?!
      dont try to disrespect a good man like MATT!

  5. WCAL Alum says:

    Friday’s game will be a fantastic match-up. With Mission depth you would think they have the edge, but Marshall has proved all year they can go toe-to-toe with little depth. The addreneline should pull them through. The 5’oclock match up should be fun to watch.

  6. LL says:

    Let’s go MARSHALL!!!

  7. mger says:

    mizelle! sfpreps be on you

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