Using their full-court pressure and stifling defense, 11th-seeded Marion Franklin was able to handily defeat DeSales 56-34 in a Division II district final at the Fairgrounds Coliseum Friday night. The Red Devils (13-12) were led by
Dominique Cartier and John Montgomery, each with 11 points.
After winning the tip, Marion-Franklin showed their offensive abilities, jumping out 5-0 before Bryan Stopar of DeSales (13-13) scored to get the Stallions on the board for the first time. The Red Devils would push again, this time a 12-2 run that was led by Cartier, whose steal and layup gave Marion-Franklin their first double-digit lead of the night.
The pressure by the Red Devils kept the Stallions off balance in the first half, including a six-minute scoring drought at one point. That six-minute dry spell for DeSales saw the Marion-Franklin lead swell to 24-8 midway through the second quarter.
The lead would grow to 18 on a Tony Anderson slam in transition at 30-12. However, heading into the half, the Red Devils would be held to just one field goal in the final three minutes, the only basket made was a steal and layup by John Montgomery.
The Stallions would shrink the lead down to 13 at 32-19 on a Josh Jordan driving layup. However, they could not pull any closer than that mark in the third, and a 13-3 run by Marion-Franklin, capitalized by a Jordan Cornley three would push the lead to its largest mark of the game at 41-20.
With the win, Marion-Franklin clinches its first district title since 1993, when they were a division I school.