GARFIELD HEIGHTS, Ohio — Marreon Jackson and Shawn Christian shined on Friday night as they have done numerous times this season, combining for 36 points in Garfield Heights’ 65-52 win vs. Lutheran East on Friday.
Jackson, a Toledo signee, had a team-high 19 points and Christian, who signed with Cleveland State, added 17 for the Bulldogs (15-4), ranked No. 6 in the cleveland.com Top 25.
Jackson missed most of the first quarter with foul trouble, but came back in the second and sparked a 17-2 run.
“My coach told me when I go back in, be patient, let the ball move around a couple of times and come back to it, and then get into something,” Jackson said. “We were trying to go a little one-on-one (in the first quarter). That’s all. They were just trapping us, running and jumping us. We were undisciplined in the first half.”
Nursing a one-point lead at the end of the first quarter thanks to Maurico Tate’s halfcourt buzzer-beater, Garfield Heights coach Sonny Johnson switched to a zone defense to start the second quarter. The zone held the Falcons (12-8) to just eight points in the quarter.
RELATED: Watch Tate’s half-court shot.
“I thought the fact that (Jackson) was on the floor as well was very important because he found the right people,” Johnson said. “He can find you. He can also get his shot. But he does a great job distributing.”
Donovan Forte added 11 points for Garfield Heights, providing size in the middle at 6-foot-7. The junior center has started to emerge more with six double-doubles in his last eight games.
“He’s Mr. Reliable. We call him Big Fundamental,” Johnson said. “Next to Shawn and Marreon, he’s our third guy. He’s proven that.”
FINAL: Garfield Heights 65, Lutheran East 52. Shawn Christian and Marreon Jackson combined for 36. #neovarsity pic.twitter.com/qICNlIh6UE— Tim Bielik (@bielik_tim) February 11, 2017
Lutheran East’s Tyler Powell had a game-high 20 points. The Falcons were without talented junior Keandre Graves, who broke his hand during a practice late in January. Lutheran East coach Anthony Jones said Graves probably will need the cast for two more weeks and his status will be reevaluated after that.
“We don’t make excuses,” Jones said. “Since Keandre’s been hurt, we’ve played phenomenal games against Bedford, St. Ed’s, Glenville. We’re more than just one guy. We play 10 guys and everybody knows their role.”
Tate had 13 points including his half-court shot to end the first quarter.
Both teams return to action on Tuesday when Garfield Heights hosts Martin Luther King Jr., and Lutheran East travels to Maple Heights.
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