Marshall is Pointers' point man

February 24, 1994|By Steven Kivinski | Steven Kivinski,Contributing Writer

Will Marshall was a frail freshman starter for Sparrows Point the year the Pointers went 0-20 and earned a region basketball playoff berth by defeating Catoctin in a coin toss.

His physical stature hadn't changed much the next year when Marshall and his teammates scraped their way to a 3-17 record.

His 6-foot-5, 170-pound frame was as slim and trim as ever last season when the Pointers turned things around and finished 15-5.

But though Marshall's physique hasn't undergone any drastic changes during the past four years, his skills and contributions have, much to the delight of Sparrows Point coach Russ Lingner.

"He's no Arnold Schwarzenegger by any stretch of the imagination, but he's no weakling or wet noodle either," said Lingner, whose team is 12-3 overall, 8-3 in the Baltimore County 1A-2A League.

"As a freshman, Will may have been a little intimidated, but he's much more aggressive now and he'll come right at you. He's not afraid of the one-on-one situations, and when he goes to the boards he goes there strong."

Marshall, who scored 13.7 points per game last season, is the metro area's second-leading scorer with 22.5 points a game and leads the area in rebounding with 12.1 a game.

His 73-of-83 performance at the free-throw line (88 percent) is impressive, and even more so when his performance in the clutch is considered.

In the Pointers' last game, against Hereford, Marshall scored 31 points, including four straight successful free throws that gave Sparrows Point the momentum and a 77-64 overtime win.

"He's worked very hard on his foul shots, and he practices like crazy. You wouldn't believe the practice time he puts in," Lingner said.

"Even with schools closed today, I'll bet he's somewhere right now working on his game. He'll play anywhere and any time there's a gym open. Last summer, he got to be good friends with all the custodians at the school because he was in the gym every dayworking on his game. His dedication to the sport is unbelievable."

Marshall, a forward, was named MVP of the John Carroll Holiday tournament after scoring 28 points in an opening-round win and a game-high 35 points in the Pointers' championship victory over the host Patriots.

"Will is very fortunate because he can hurt you from the outside as well as the inside," Lingner said. "He's deadly. He'll pull up and hit a shot, or if he has a desire to go to the basket he'll go. He's given opposing coaches a lot of headaches."

The son of Presbyterian ministers, Marshall learned to dribble and shoot while playing in the Bear Creek Recreation Council in Patapsco.

He attended four basketball camps last summer and traveled with Catonsville High's team to the World Challenge Tournament in Sarasota, Fla.

Marshall says he is enjoying his team's most recent successes and has no ill feelings about his freshman and sophomore campaigns.

"We were the laughingstock of the playoffs the year we went without winning a game, but even though we were losing, we were still having fun," he said.

"It was a little disappointing losing every time you stepped on the floor, but the seniors that year were some great guys and they kept us up for every game."

Marshall's upbeat nature, vigorous work ethic and 3.0 grade-point average have attracted the attention of college scouts from all three divisions and recently earned him Sparrows Point High School's "Student of the Month" honors for January.

None of this comes as a surprise to his coach.

"He is the ideal student-athlete," Lingner said. "He's a coach's dream, and he'll do anything you ask of him. It's going to be strange not seeing him around here next year."

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