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Stingy defense leads to easy Chargers victory

Edison holds Marina to 15% shooting from the field during the Sunset League boys' basketball opener for both teams.

January 15, 2014|By Mike Sciacca
  • Edison's Randall Walker goes up for a layup against Marina's Matt Dispenza.
Edison's Randall Walker goes up for a layup against… (SCOTT SMELTZER,…)

It was only the opening night of the Sunset League boys' basketball title chase but Edison's Rich Boyce and Marina's Nick Racklin knew heading into Friday's that getting off to a good start was imperative if their respective teams had hopes of winning a championship.

"This league is such a grind," Boyce said. "You need to be ready every night to play because there are so many good teams and great coaches in this league. It's important to defend your home court, and that was something we waned to do tonight."

Edison did defend the hardwood at its own Dave Mohs Gymnasium. The Chargers grabbed the lead for good early in the second quarter, methodically pulled away and, combined with a cold-shooting night by Marina, ran out to a 64-39 victory.

Edison trailed throughout the first quarter but came back to take an 11-point halftime lead (29-18).

The Chargers, the fourth-ranked team in CIF Southern Section Division 1A, scored 42 points during the second and third quarters in winning for the 14th time in 17 games.

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"I didn't think we played out best game, but we got the win," Boyce said. "But Marina did an outstanding job tonight. They came out and played great defense and took the early lead. Nick does a great job getting his guys ready, and they were ready tonight. They came out with great intensity, and we didn't match it."

Although Marina led, 10-8, after one quarter, the Vikings ultimately were hampered by two things: foul trouble and frigid shooting.

Derek Mallard, a senior guard and team captain who had hit a three-pointer two minutes into the game to give Marina an early 6-2 lead, picked up his third personal foul with 1:46 left in the first quarter. It was the eighth team foul committed by the Vikings (6-11), who by the end of the quarter had 10 team fouls.

Mallard sat out the second quarter but returned to the lineup at the outset of the second half.

Marina's shooting woes would read nine of 60 from the field for the game. The Vikings were three of 26 from two-point range in the opening half, and two of 26 from during the final two quarters.

Racklin said it was the poorest shooting night the Vikings had suffered through this season.

"We just couldn't hit anything," he said. "We only gave up one three the whole game. If you were to tell me that we only gave up one three, I would have said we won the game, or came really close to winning. You can't score only nine baskets and expect to win.

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