EVERETT — For most of the night the vast majority of their shots clanked off the rim.
The angle and distance didn’t seem to matter — the Mariner High School boys basketball team was simply having a rough night.
But before it was too late the Marauders locked in from long range Tuesday and rallied to beat the previously undefeated Meadowdale Mavericks.
Wing Joey Dillon and point guard Danny Chhann combined to make four 3-point baskets in the fourth quarter, when Mariner outscored Meadowdale 22-12 en route to a 58-51 victory in a Western Conference South Division game at the Mariner High gym.
Despite shooting 5-for-17 from the field in the first quarter and 4-for-16 in the third quarter, Mariner dominated the rebounding battle and hit more than enough clutch shots down the stretch to improve to 3-1 in division play (5-1 overall).
Dillon scored 19 of his season-high 24 points in the second half, and Chhann (11 points) drained two 3-pointers during a pivotal 13-1 Mariner run that turned a six-point deficit into a six-point lead.
Chhann’s final long-range shot gave Mariner a 48-46 edge. The Marauders never trailed again.
“He’s one of our most important players. He’s one of the guys that lead us on the floor,” Dillon said of Chhann.
Post Matt Gorman scored a team-high 17 points for Meadowdale (2-1, 5-1), which led 37-35 late in the third quarter and twice went ahead by six before Mariner rallied.
The key to Mariner’s comeback was more patience on offense, Marauders coach Dexter Griffen said.
“We just moved the ball and moved the ball and got open looks against (Meadowdale’s zone defense). They had time to set their feet and get a good look at it, so that coupled with (good offensive rebounding) really helped us take the lead,” Griffen said.
Mariner was just 1-for-12 from 3-point range in the first half, but it went 5-for-8 the rest of the way.
“They did a nice job of executing,” Meadowdale coach Chad McGuire said. “Dillon steps up and hits a three and Chhann steps up and hits a couple of big threes there in the fourth quarter. Give them credit. It was a back-and-forth game and they took control at the end.”
Meadowdale’s lone outside threat was guard Paul Werner. He sank three 3-pointers and scored 10 points.
Relying mainly on Gorman’s interior scoring, the Mavericks led 39-36 after three quarters. But in the final quarter Mariner’s quick, aggressive defense forced five of Meadowdale’s 19 total turnovers, and the Marauders earned numerous extra scoring chances with offensive rebounds.
Post Damascus Purnell (eight points, eight rebounds) was Mariner’s top rebounder. Reserve Adrien Black grabbed five boards.
Chhann’s varied contributions were huge for the Marauders. Besides hitting the timely 3-pointers, he tallied three assists and three steals.
Said coach Griffen, “Danny does it all. There’s a lot on his shoulders and he does a great job with it. Danny can shoot it, he can pass it, he can defend it — he does a lot of things for us, and that’s why he’s so valuable.”
At Mariner H.S.
Meadowdale: O’Neill 8, Clampitt 7, Gorman 17, P. Werner 10, Matteson 4, Hamlett 2, Beeson 3, Nelson, S. Werner. Mariner: J. Dillon 24, Chhann 11, T. Dillon 3, Malysheff 4, Purnell 8, Minor 2, Bastys 2, Doerscher 2, Black 2. 3-point goals-P. Werner 3, J. Dillon 4, Chhann 2. JV score-Meadowdale 43, Mariner 37. Records-Meadowdale 2-1 in division, 5-1 overall. Mariner 3-1, 5-1.