Morell tops the Rural on Craig’s big night

Shane Pendergast guards Joel Arsenault on an inbounds play during the second quarter of a game between the Morell Marlins and the Charlottetown Rural Raiders last night. Chris Gregory photo.
Shane Pendergast guards Joel Arsenault on an inbounds play during the second quarter of a game between the Morell Marlins and the Charlottetown Rural Raiders last night. Chris Gregory photo.
By Chris Gregory
Jan. 15, 2014

Ethan Craig scored 40 points and Shane Pendergast added 21 in Morell’s 76-57 win over the Charlottetown Rural Raider’s last night at Morell.
Kobiee Logersoil and Kyle Arsenault scored 19 and 18 respectively in the loss.
Marlin’s coach Tyler Reid said it was the best game they’ve played all season and with a tournament this upcoming weekend, he said there was a lot to take away from the win.
“Everyone of our players got out there and contributed and our best scorers led the way.”
Craig was struggling to find his shot in previous games but got into a groove early in tonight’s game, he said.
“I got the three-pointer going today, the shots were falling, and they were finding me open. We were really good today at finding each other and passing the ball.”
Morell won the opening tipoff, and the ball found its way to Craig who drove to the rim for the opening basket.
Midway through the opening quarter, Rural’s Logersoil hit a three pointer that was part of a 9-0 run, giving them a 13-6 lead.
Morell brought that lead down to three at the end of the first quarter with the Raiders up 19-16.
With 7:40 to go in the second quarter, Morell’s Craig attacked the basket and scored, giving the Marlin’s the lead back at 22-21.
With just over four minutes to play in the first half, Craig hit a three-pointer to cap off a 15-2 run, which allowed Morell to go into halftime with a 38-32 lead.
Early in the third quarter, Morell came out with a lot of intensity pushing their lead to double digits.
The Raiders brought the lead down to seven on another three-pointer by Logersoil, but that is as close as they would get.
The Marlins maintained their lead, and closed out the third quarter up 11 with a 60-49 lead.
With 6:47 remaining in the final quarter, Craig ended any of the Rural’s hopes as he drove to the basket, made the shot and got fouled. Craig made the foul shot, extending their lead to 19 with just under seven minutes to go.
Morell closed out the game easily, winning 76-57.
Tyler Reid, Marlins coach, said the players seemed to doubt themselves at certain points during the season but winning this game erased that doubt.
“There was maybe a shadow of a doubt or a question, but I think they know how good they are and how good they can be.”
“We can still get better and still work on things, but this is certainly a confidence booster,” he said.
Raider’s coach Brandon Jean said win or lose, there was much to learn from tonight’s game.
“Obviously, I don’t like losing, but it’s definitely a learning experience.”
Jean was impressed with how the Marlins played, especially with Marlin’s leader Ethan Craig.
“He showed a lot of leadership and motivated his guys, which I liked a lot, so I was impressed by them, big time,” he said.
Moving forward, they need to work on bringing more intensity throughout the course of the game, Jean said.
“Honestly, it’s an effort thing for us, I feel like when we’re working hard and pushing and the effort is there, then we’re right up there with those guys, but if not, it’s really whichever team drops the intensity first, loses.”
Before the Christmas break, the Marlins’ were dealing with injuries, which in turn caused them to struggle.
Marlins assistant coach Mike Pendergast, said it was a big game for them to come out and prove where they belonged in the standings.
“It was a very important night for us, after coming off a lot of injuries before Christmas. We had to really establish ourselves.”
With only one senior player on the team, the team is still young and learning, said Pendergast.
“We’re still a young team. This is a team that’s meant to peak next year.”
Marlins forward Riley Berthiaume finished with eight points and helped on the boards for his team, but said it was a great team effort all around.
“The team was clicking, everyone was working well together. We had the flow going.”
This weekend there is a tournament being played at Charlottetown Rural.
“We have a tournament so, we’re going to face these guys again. I was talking to the guys, we’ve gotta be prepared.”
“They’re going to be really hungry to go out and redeem themselves and get redemption. We played an excellent game but we know that they’re going to try and battle back so we have to be ready,” said Reid.