Virginia recruit Justin Anderson scored a game-high 19 points but top-ranked Montrose Christian failed to convert two chances to tie or take the lead in the final minute and lost a high-profile matchup to Flower Mound (Texas) Marcus, 42-40, on Thursday night in Lewisville, Texas.
In a meeting of nationally-ranked teams, the Mustangs (5-1) led by one point after each of the first three quarters as neither team led by more than seven points.
New Mexico recruit Nick Banyard’s three-pointer from the top of the key gave Marcus a 42-40 lead with 1 minute 10 seconds left.
Anderson missed a tough three-pointer from the left wing on the ensuing possession, but Montrose Christian got another chance after Marcus missed the front-end of a 1-and-1 with 15 seconds left.
The Marauders (14-1), who are ranked 11th in the nation by ESPN, fouled twice to work precious seconds off the clock before the final play, where the Mustangs were unable to get off a shot before the buzzer. Michael Carrera’s shot in the lane went through the basket clearly after time had expired.
“We ran out of time,” Montrose Christian Coach Stu Vetter said. “The play was designed to swing the ball back to Justin Anderson. Defensively, they cut it off. We just had to make a play. Unfortunately, we just didn’t get it off in time.”
Forward Marcus Smart, one of two Oklahoma State recruits on the Marcus roster, led the Marauders with 15 points.
Carrera added 10 points and seven rebounds for Montrose Christian, which will fly Friday to Hawaii to compete in the Iolani Classic beginning Saturday. The Mustangs are ranked fourth in the country by ESPN.
“I told our guys before this, I think anyone in the country would trade places with us for this trip,” Vetter said. “To play in front of ESPN on Thursday night and fly to Hawaii Friday, I don’t think you can have a better trip planned. … This was a learning experience that we’ll take with us to Hawaii.”