Article: Thurgood Marshall Outlasts Middletown
12/11/12- Playing without its highly touted freshman Derrick Daniels, the Thurgood Marshall Cougars had something to prove on Tuesday night in Middletown. The entire Thurgood team would give handshakes to Daniels prior to tip-off as the young big man sat in the third row behind the team bench, sitting out the game for undisclosed reasons.
Not to worry, this Thurgood team is much more than just a big time prospect. Senior guard Mark Alstork would carry the load on this night, scoring 32 points in a 72-54 statement win. Many feel it was the first step towards Thurgood validating the talk surrounding them as one of the state's best teams regardless of division.
Both teams were cold to start the game, perhaps showing nerves playing in front of big names including Purdue head coach Matt Painter and Dayton assistant Allen Griffin, not to mention head Ohio State football coach Urban Meyer. While neither team could get much offense going, Thurgood's defense set the tone early on, getting the Cougars easy looks in transition and on the offensive glass. Six Thurgood players scored in the first quarter as the visitors held an 18-12 lead after eight minutes. Middletown's prized football recruit Jalin Marshall would score his only five points of the game in the first quarter.
The second quarter is when Alstork really started to assert himself. The smooth scoring guard scored from all over the court en route to 11 second quarter points and a game-high 15 at intermission. Thurgood used a 10-2 run to start the second quarter and would lead 35-21 with 1:52 before half. Vincent Edwards had seven second quarter points for Middletown, but Thurgood looked to be in control with a 39-26 lead at the break.
Edwards, and junior Khylan Jackson would ignite a huge Middletown run in the third quarter. On an early three possession span, Edwards connected on two three-point baskets and assisted on a Jackson triple to pull the Middies within six, 43-37. With Jalin Marshall on the bench with four fouls, Jackson scored 10 of his season-high 13 points in the first 5:20 of the third frame. Edwards had nine in the period and all of a sudden, Middletown entered the fourth quarter with a 47-46 lead.
The fourth quarter showed why so many feel Thurgood has so much potential this season. Trailing for the first time all game, in a hostile road environment, the Cougars amped up the defensive intensity and got to the rim for easy shots and second chance opportunities. Trailing 50-48 after another Jackson triple with 6:31 left in the game, Thurgood would make their run. In the next 2:26 of game time, Alstork would score nine points and junior point guard RaChaun Martin added four for a 13-0 Thurgood run and a 61-50 lead. By the time Edwards would make two free throws, his only two points of the quarter, Thurgood led 66-52 and the game was out of reach.
Alstork scored 13 of his game-high 32 in the fourth quarter. Edwards, a 6'7" junior forward with a handful of impressive offers already attached to his name, did it all for Middletown. He ran the point for most of the game, but also found a way to score 23 points, grab 22 boards and dish out three assists. Thurgood got even production once again as Martin (9 points, 5 assists), Tremayne Hawkins (8 points off the bench plus 5 steals), Edmond Early (8 points) and Darren Groves (11 points, 9 rebounds) all played big roles.
Thurgood Marshall, Dayton's top D-II team and a popular pick for the state's top D-II team, is now 3-0 while Middletown drops to 0-3. They did not play one another in 2011-12.