MARION, Ohio -- Taking in some MOAC action on Thursday, Marion Harding defended home court and upset Buckeye Valley 53-52. Four players scored in double figures for the Presidents, led by junior Tabias Thompson-Reece and senior Zhamir Anderson, who combined for 25 points.
The host Presidents (3-6) led after every quarter, not allowing the visiting Barons (5-4) to take a commanding lead at any point on Thursday. For the first time all season, Harding put together a complete game, hitting timely shots, locking up on the defensive perimeter and knocking down free throws when it mattered most.
Harding built a 24-22 lead at the break and never looked back, leading by as much as seven points in the third quarter. Buckeye Valley fought back hard for most of the second half, but could not string together enough stops to take control of the game.
Picking up its first signature win of the year, Harding will look to win two in a row on Saturday at River Valley before hosting Clear Fork a week from Friday. A young team with some talented pieces, Harding should gain some much-needed confidence with Thursday's win, especially since it comes over a quality Buckeye Valley team.
Four players scored in double figures for Harding, as Thompson-Reece (13 points) and Anderson (12 points) led the way, while senior Dejuan Smith's 11 points and junior Mitch Myers' 10 points rounded out the scoring for the Presidents.
Buckeye Valley was led by freshman forward Troy Scowden, who scored 12 points and added seven rebounds. Scowden was a load to handle on the block, as the athletic man child is one of the toughest covers anywhere in the area in the freshman class.
Junior guard and leading scorer Dylan Herbert had a relatively tough game, finishing with 11 points, while no other Baron player finished in double figures.
With the loss, Buckeye Valley will look to get back to its winning ways at home against Shelby on Saturday. The first true test in Division II for the Barons will come next Tuesday at Bishop Watterson, who should figure to be one of the top contenders come district tournament time.
Following Saturday's game, Buckeye Valley will not be home again until Jan. 25, after three-straight road games, including a Jan. 19 date at league leader Clear Fork.