By Russ Green-Sports Editor
The Marshall Owls found their 3-point shooting just in time Saturday afternoon to hold off the Hardin-Central Bulldogs for the Wellington-Napoleon Invitational title. The Owls, now 5-9, made four of their five long-range jumpers in the second half to pick up a 45-40 win over Hardin-Central in a defensive battle.
Conner Cooley hit three buckets outside the arc for Marshall on his way to scoring a team-high 13 points, while Zach Glassmaker chipped in 10 points.
Wyatt Craven had a strong second half for the Bulldogs as he scored 12 of his game-high 14 points. Clif Kugler, who was named to the all-tournament team, shook off foul troubles in the first half to score 11 points.
The Bulldogs and Owls each had 6 points to show for their efforts in the opening 8 minutes. With Kugler in foul trouble, Marshall grabbed a 12-7 lead early in the second quarter, but Hardin-Central battled back to score the final 6 points of the half to take an 18-16 lead at the intermission.
Each team exchanged scores as the second half unfolded. Three-pointer by Lance Thomas and Ben Valencia pushed the Owls to a 34-26 lead with just over a minute remaining in the third quarter. Marshall held a 36-29 advantage as the fourth period began.
The Bulldogs trimmed the deficit to 4 points twice in the final quarter – the last time after Craven hit a bucket inside the paint with 1:51 left in the game. Cooley added his final 3-pointer 48 seconds later to give Marshall a little bit of breathing room and the final 63 seconds were scoreless.
The complete story is in the Monday, Jan. 21, 2013 Richmond News.