Few teams can put on a ball movement clinic quite like Junction City.
Gunner Rothenberger, Cooper Rothenberger, Court Knabe, Jaxson Kister, etc… what an incredibly unselfish group.
Kister’s outside shooting put the game away in the first half for all intents and purposes, but the ball movement and easy opportunities the Tigers continued to create–despite a solid Marist defensive effort–put it out of reach for the Spartans. It was going to be nearly impossible for Marist to keep Junction City from scoring in three, nonetheless four or five, consecutive possessions in order to mount a comeback. As soon as the early lead was established, the game was over. Junction City defensively gave up little space to Marist. Despite the final mark of having given up 70 points, a large chunk of that occurred in the 4th quarter simply to cut down the final margin down from the mid-20s and had no bearing on the overall result. Junction City gave up some transition buckets, sure, but there was never a doubt who was in control when the game hit the half court; Junction City was manipulating the Marist defense, Marist was struggling to get an uncontested look.
Junction City has been a 4A version of Dayton for two consecutive seasons now: Tremendous coaching, tremendous depth, tremendous defense and hustle, but no A+ player. The floor is ridiculously high once again, virtually a semifinal shoe-in, but beyond that is harder to project than their peers (Cascade, Philomath).