November 28, 2008 - 6:56 pm
Anthony Marshall already has a reputation as a clutch player.
But in the final 23 seconds Friday night, the Mojave senior guard took it up a notch.
Marshall hit 5 of 6 free throws and came away with a steal and breakaway dunk on the final play to help the Rattlers open the season with a 68-59 home win over Las Vegas.
“I felt like I had to make a play,” said Marshall, who has signed with UNLV. “Me being a leader on this team, I feel I’ve got to lead by example.
“So in my head the whole time, those 23 seconds, I was like, ‘I’ve got to make a play.’ ”
Marshall had a game-high 27 points. He hit two 3-pointers and was 9-for-13 at the foul line.
Playing some point guard, Marshall also had six assists, including on Mojave’s first three field goals.
After going 0-for-1 at the free-throw line in the first half, the Rattlers finished 20-for-26.
“The thing that actually turned the game is when we went to the free-throw line and Anthony Marshall made free throws,” Mojave coach Tony Hopkins said. “He’s a big-time player.”
On the final play of the first half, Anthony Marshall found Prentice Marshall open on the wing for a 3-pointer as time expired to put the Rattlers up 29-21.
Kevin James scored 15 points and Prentice Marshall added 13 for the Rattlers, who were 25-2 last season.
Tony Eackles scored 19 points and Tyree Anderson added 17 for Las Vegas, which had two players foul out.
Coming off an 8-13 season, the Wildcats lacked their full roster because the football team remains in the Class 4A state playoffs.
But they rallied from a 50-40 deficit entering the fourth quarter to pull within 61-59 with 23 seconds left.
“We expected to be with them,” Las Vegas first-year coach Jason Wilson said. “The kids put in a lot of work this summer and in the offseason, and we expected to play with them every minute of the game.”