First Posted: 3/4/2012 8:14:20 PM | Last Updated: 3/4/2012 8:14:54 PM
BY SAM RUMPZA, OURTOWN.COM
KOKOMO -- After such a disheartening loss to Hamilton Southeastern in the regular season finale, the Jefferson Bronchos responded in Tuesday’s opening round of sectionals, defeating the Marion Giants 72-62 at Kokomo’s Memorial Gymnasium.
Rashad Richardson led three Bronchos in double figures with 29 points, including 10 in the fourth quarter. Richardson also pulled down seven boards, dished out four assists, and had three steals. Jarlon Garrett contributed 21 points on 4 of 7 shooting from three point range, rebounding from a four point, eight turnover performance against HSE.
“I’m a big part of this team so I had to make sure I had a good game coming off of Friday. I hit big shots, and that really helped us,” said Garrett.
The Bronchos led by as many as 20 in the first half and led 51-32 before Marion cut the deficit to five in the fourth quarter, but the Giants couldn’t get any closer than that, and the Bronchos survived and advanced. The Bronchos scored 18 points off of turnovers and shot a blazing 52 percent (12-23) from beyond the arc.
Randon Jackson scored a team-high 18 points for Marion while Tyler Arens chipped in 12 points and 18 rebounds. The Giants end their season with a record of 9-12 and graduate just one senior, guard Jalen McCallum.
Jeff plays the Logansport Berries in the 8 o’clock semifinal Friday night. Jeff beat the Berries 69-60 on December 10 at the Berry Bowl.
“If we stop (Logansport guard Antonio Penny), we’ll win. Not to be cocky, but that’s their team, and if we stop him, we’ll be here Saturday,” said Garrett. The winner will face the winner of the other semifinal, featuring Kokomo and McCutcheon.