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After a close loss in their opener, the Almost Semi-Pro players were focused for game two.

They played solid defense in beating Marske & Crutch 50-40 on Dec. 10 at the Marshall Wellness Center. Their 11 steals contributed to 15 turnovers for Marske & Crutch.

“Defense leads offense,” Nathan Sowada, co-captain and point guard, said. “Anticipate the passing lanes.”

Sowada had eight points, three steals and three assists. Mitchell Dickinson, co-captain and shooting guard, had 14 points and two steals. Zach Ruta had eight points, nine rebounds and two steals. Aaron Taylor also made two steals and Thomas Danek blocked two shots.

“We hustled. We’re pretty young,” Dickinson said. “Defense first. We moved the ball a lot against the zone, inside/out and then driving the ball.”

Almost Semi-Pro (1-1) led 19-8 with four minutes left in the first half but were up just 21-17 at intermission. The margin was 39-28 with seven minutes left.

Brandon Cook, Derek Mayer and Bob Gillis had 10 points apiece for Marske & Crutch (1-2). Greg Smith had eight points and two blocks.

“We started off very slow, low energy,” Jason Marske, team captain, said. “Didn’t pick it up to keep pace with them. Didn’t take advantage of the early fouls we had on them. And then at the end of the game it’s tough to come from behind.”

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