Huskies coast past Tigers, 66-52

Cody Opron had a game-high 22 points, and North Marion used a strong first quarter to defeat Elkins 66-52 Tuesday in Big 10 Conference action at Richard P. Simmons Memorial Gymnasium.

The Huskies (9-4) jumped out to an early 10-2 lead on a Cameron Wilson jumped with 4:19 remaining in the first quarter.

North Marion finished the period on a 9-6 run over the last 4 minutes of the frame to build a 19-8 lead.

“I thought we came out ready to play, and played well defensively,” North Marion coach Chris Freeman said. “We were able to work our fastbreak well early.”

Elkins cut the deficit to 19-11 on a Braden Hammond 3-pointer with 7:32 left in the half.

North Marion answered back on a 6-0 run to build a 25-11 lead on a Wilson jumper with 1:55 left until halftime, and extended its lead to 27-16 entering the intermission.

“We didn’t play well in the first half,” Elkins coach John Lawson said. “We didn’t shoot the ball well and just got off to a slow start.”

The Huskies extended their lead to as many as 13 points (35-22) on a Opron jumper to start the second half. But Elkins finished the canto on an 18-11 surge to cut the lead to 46-40 after three quarters of play.

Logan Phillips had seven points during the run for the Tigers.

A 5-0 burst by the visitors made it an 11-point game before a pair of Phillips free throws with 6:38 left in the game cut the margin to single digits.

North Marion finished the contest on a 14-10 run, however, over the last 6 minutes of the game to pull away with the victory.

Wilson added 20 points, while Matt Cain chipped in with 14 for the Huskies.

“I’m pleased with our victory today,” Freeman said. “We have been working on our team defense all season and I think its finally started to come together.

“We also have everyone healthy, and it seems like we have been playing as a team the last couple of games.”

Phillips had a team-high 16 points, while Hammond had 10 points for the Tigers.

North Marion will host Buckhannon-Upshur at 7:30 p.m. Thursday for a conference tilt.

Elkins will travel to Liberty at 7:30 p.m. on the same evening for a league contest.