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Marana sophomore Wes Bell (#33)

The Marana boys basketball squad squeaked by the Sahuarita Mustangs by one point last Wednesday night after the Mustangs chipped at a 15-point Tigers at the half. 

The Tigers beat the Mustangs 51-50.

“We went to a 1-3-1 (defense) and they lit it up from the corners,” Marana Coach Sean Roebuck said. “We had to go back to man (defense) and we pulled it out, but we had to recognize those shooters.” 

Marana maintained their lead throughout the game, and were up 33-18 after two periods. Their lead shrunk slowly until the Mustangs held the Tigers offense late in the night, scoring only 6-points in the fourth quarter. 

“Going to that defense and watching that lead disappear was a learning experience for me as a coach, Roebuck said. “If you can’t pick up that shooter, they’ll get them back into the game and that’s what happened.” 

With 30 seconds left in the game, the Tigers and Mustangs were tied at 49. Marana’s sophomore center, Wes Ball sunk two free-throw shots with seconds left and the Tigers barely hung on to win. 

“They’ shouldn’t have came back,we were up by a lot,” said Tigers junior point-guard Diego Urbina. “We just need to keep our intensity throughout the game.”

Going into the game, Roebuck said his team’s strategy was to take out Sahurita’s senior guard, Byron Brown, who was a thorn in the Tiger’s paw last season. 

“He’s their guy,” said Roebuck.“He spreads us out, he beats you to the basket and he kicks it out to the corners.” 

Roebuck said while the Tigers tried to contain the Mustang’s Brown, they didn’t do a very good job of it. But Roebuck did say he was impressed by the resilience of his team. 

Tigers junior power forward, Isaiah Roebuck, said Marana might have one the first half, but the Mustangs definitely won the second half, despite not winning the game. 

“We came out in the second half thinking that we had won the game but we can’t do that with a team like (Sahuarita),” Roebuck said. “They’re runners and hustlers and we have to respect them.” 

The Mustangs face the Cienega Bobcats on Tuesday and the Buena Colts on Thursday, with both games at home.

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