The Marion County boys basketball team got off to slow starts each half Monday in a 65-34 homecoming loss to Scotland County.

Marion County boys basketball coach Justin Ellison has stressed the importance of fast starts to each half of games.

The Mustangs were reminded of the importance, once again, Monday night.

Marion County scored just two points in the first 6 minutes, 42 seconds against visiting Scotland County.

After clawing its way back into striking distance, the Mustangs scored just three points in the third quarter. 

Scotland County scored 19 points in the third to take a commanding 46-22 lead en route to a 65-34 win on the Mustangs homecoming.

Alex Huffman drained a 3-pointer in the final seconds of the first half to pull the Mustangs to within 27-19 at halftime.

Ty Bowdish opened the second half with a drive to trim the deficit to 27-21 with 7:29 left in the third stanza.

Marion County missed its next 15 shots from the field as the Tigers started to pull away. 

“We talk all the time about getting out to good starts to the half,” Ellison said. “Tonight it just took us too long to get our feet started. We just have to get off to better starts than that.”

After committing just six turnovers in the first half, the Mustangs turned the ball over seven times in the third quarter. The Tigers went on a 16-0 run in the third, which was fueled by the miscues.

“We just had too many turnovers, which led to easy points for them,” the Mustangs coach said. “The (16-0 run) by them started with us taking bad shots on the offensive end, which led to runouts. Then we started turning it over. 

“They are one of the better man-to-man defensive teams we have faced this season, so I have to give them credit. But we have to be better as well.” 

Will Fromm scored 16 of his game-high 24 points in the second half to pace the Tigers.

Huffman and Bowdish paced the short-handed Mustangs with 11 points a piece.

Sheldon Whetstone added six points and 11 rebounds in the loss.

Marion County (4-13), which is down to six players on its roster, returns to the court Tuesday night playing host to Paris.