Many games come down to the final possession, some games are decided by a block, but even fewer are decided by multiple blocks. Marin's Bay Valley Conference opener on Friday evening was the latter. With a one-point advantage, the Mariners' Joey Potts and Zamaria Odom each made crucial blocks in the final seconds to clinch a 65-64 win for Marin over the Mendocino College Eagles.
Marin trailed 64-63 when Odom drove the lane and was fouled with 10.8 seconds left. He made the first free throw to tie the game at 64-64 before a Mendocino timeout aimed to ice the Mariners' forward. was unphased, and he nailed his second free throw to give Marin a one-point advantage.
After a Mariners' timeout to setup the defense, Mendocino's Davis-Boddie took the ball on the right wing and drove middle, looking for an opening to win the game. He rose high and looked for a short-range floater with on the left-hand side of the key. Potts stayed home and rejected the attempt with under five seconds left. The ball was deflected to the corner where Eagles' forward Tecle rose to attempt a game winning three, but Odom was on him in a flash and blocked the shot just after release clinching the victory for Marin.
The first half could not separate the two teams, as Marin held a 26-19 advantage late before settling for a 28-28 tie after 20 minutes. Eric Mireri led the way with eight for the Mariners while Alfonso Murrie chipped in six of his own. Tecle paced Mendocino with eight of his own.
The Mariners took an early second half lead and forced Mendocino to play catch up throughout the second half. The visitors from Ukiah wholly depended on their forward Knight to keep them in game.
He scored 16 consecutive for the Eagles during one second half stretch. Marin led 53-46 with seven minutes remaining and 58-54 with 3:25 left in regulation. Tecle made a three pointer and a layup to put Mendocino up 64-63 with under a minute on the clock before Odom's free throws put Marin ahead for good.
Mireri led the Mariners with 17 points and three made threes. Odom had nine of his 12 points in the second half and Potts was steady throughout finishing the game with 11 points. Mendocino's Knight led all scorers with 26 points, including 20 in the second half. Tecle finished with 15 of his own and Strate matched him with 15 as well.
The win was Marin's second straight and helped begin conference play on the right foot with a 1-0 record and 5-7 overall. Next up for the Mariners is a road date at Napa Valley College on Friday, December 28th.