MARION — The Mt. Vernon Rams jumped out to a 17-0 lead and never looked back, routing Marion 66-45 in South 7 action Friday night.
All five Rams starters made baskets during the early onslaught, including a pair of slams from junior big man NJ Benson. The Wildcats did not get on the board until 54 seconds left in the first quarter when Rayzhaun Bardo made a pair of technical free throws following Benson’s second rim rattler. Marion’s first field goal came with :30 left in the quarter on Jordan Cook’s three-pointer.
Mt. Vernon led 17-5 after one and promptly opened the second quarter on an 8-0 run to build a 20-point cushion. Marion scored the next seven to try to claw back in it, but the Rams built their lead to as many as 21 before taking a 37-19 cushion into halftime and then cruising in the second half.
Carson Prost led four Rams in double figures with a game high 20 points. Benson added 12, Dylan Harkins 11, and Quani Rudd 10. Bardo led the Wildcats with 10.
Both teams are back in action Saturday with non-conference opponents. Mt. Vernon will host Cairo, while Marion will welcome Murphysboro.