INDIANAPOLIS | West Side boys basketball coach Murray Richards perused his bench on Monday and hardly saw anyone he knew.
Star player Arnold Wilson?
“He's still out,” Richards said of the injury.
Power forward Lonnie Johnson?
“He played in the Blue-Gray (all-star) football game in Texas,” Richards said.
Junior forward Ramone Atkins?
“He didn't want to work hard so he quit,” Richards said. “We had another kid who missed two practices so he didn't play.”
The Cougars played Traders Point Christian in the eighth annual IPSAC Midwest Showcase at Indianapolis Marshall High School. West Side prevailed 59-46.
But that didn't make the Cougars coach very happy.
“We'll take the win, Merry Christmas,” Richards said. “But I'm not happy with it at all.”
West Side (3-5) got 18 points and eight rebounds from Marlon Northern, who knew there would be shots, minutes and rebounds for the taking. He knew his team needed him.
“With Arnold out, someone had to step up,” said Northern, who was chosen the game's MVP. “Someone had to be a leader. We had to forget about our losses to Lake Central and Lowell.
"This was all about heart.”
Northern scored eight points in the first quarter to give his team a boost. Tremaine Grubbs added nine and Christian Jacobs scored eight, as West Side broke a four-game losing streak, two coming via forfeits.
“We've been missing effort but our defense saved us,” Richards said.
Roosevelt 84, Indianapolis Marshall 75 (OT): Last year at the same event the Panthers lost to Horizon Christian 90-48. It was one of the biggest beatdowns in the proud program's history.
So despite overcoming 31 turnovers to win in overtime, Panthers coach Marcus Jefferson was not pleased with the win that got his program up to 4-4.
“They ran a soft zone and we (bleeped in) our pants,” Jefferson said of the turnovers. “I'll take the win but we looked horrible. It starts at practice. We've got guys not showing up. This is a challenge. This win is bittersweet because we should've played much better.”
Sophomore Tevin Farris led the way with 15 points with 16 rebounds, earning the game's MVP honor. Alexander Buggs scored 13 and LaDontaz Tolbert added 12. Daris Bates scored nine in the win.
“I saw my team struggling so I had to come out strong,” Farris said. “We have to slow the game down. We had too many turnovers. We're dribbling too much. We did fight harder, though.”