LE GRAND - A day after signing his National Letter of Intent to play collegiate football, West Marshall senior Duncan Ferch put his basketball exploits on display at East Marshall.
The visiting Trojans improved to 3-0 following losses this season, expanding a narrow lead with a late 8-0 run to take down their cross-county rivals 69-59 in Thursday's NICL West Division make-up game.
Ferch scored a season-high 29 points to lead West Marshall to victory in its first game since falling to Gladbrook-Reinbeck last Friday night in a pivotal NICL West clash between last season's co-champions.
Nick Juel netted three 3-pointers en route to 11 points, Reggie Gradwell made a pair of treys for 10 points, and the Trojans (16-3, 11-2) made their early lead stick. Elijah Streeter and Trenton Keislar both pitched in with seven points, and Matt Van Metre had five points and a team-leading eight rebounds.
East Marshall (1-17, 1-12) got to within five points, 56-51, inside the final four minutes before an 8-0 Trojan surge staved off any further comeback.
The Mustangs shot 10-of-19 from 3-point range but still could not bring down the reigning co-champions. Dru Boliver matched his career-high with 19 points and Austin Briney shot 5-of-6 from 3-point range for 17 points.
Nate DeBondt tallied 13 points, six assists and three steals, and Zack Johnson added seven points in the Mustangs' fifth straight loss.
West Marshall hosts Grundy Center tonight in NICL West Division play, while East Marshall hosts a Gladbrook-Reinbeck squad looking for its first outright conference title since 2008.
WEST MARSHALL 53, EAST MARSHALL 40
LE GRAND - The West Marshall girls' basketball team held East Marshall to its fewest points in 10 games, passing up the Mustangs in the NICL West Division standings with a 53-40 victory in Thursday's make-up game.
Madisen Streeter scored a game-high 17 points to go with five rebounds and four assists for the Trojans (8-11, 6-7), who won their third straight. Gabby Reyerson added 14 points and seven rebounds, while Georgia Porter and Shannon Breja both chipped in eight points.
Breja scored all of her season-high eight points in the first half as the Trojans jumped out to a 28-15 lead. Mackenzie Coberley added five points, four steals and three assists in the win.
Taylor Fricke paced East Marshall with 14 points and Maci Fritz chalked up a career-high 12 points thanks to four 3-pointers. Ashley Allen contributed four points, six rebounds and five assists.
The Mustangs (5-14, 5-8) made five of their seven 3-pointers in the fourth quarter alone to make a 20-point deficit a 13-point final margin. Still it was East Marshall's sixth loss in its last seven games.
West Marshall shot 20-for-26 from the free-throw line, while the host Mustangs were just 5-for-9.
Both teams close out their NICL West schedules tonight at home. East Marshall entertains Gladbrook-Reinbeck while West Marshall hosts Grundy Center.