It was enjoyable watching the Marion-Franklin boys basketball team and second-year coach Scott Williams finally have some success last winter after the program had failed to struggled to reach expectations despite having as much talent as any program in the City-South the last few years.
The Red Devils were a .500 team during the regular season but blew out DeSales 56-34 despite being the 11th seed in Division II to win their first district championship since 1993.
Now at least two of their players will play at the next level.
On May 15, Marquiez Lawrence, a 6-8 senior forward, and Dominique Cartier, a senior guard, made their commitments.
Lawrence signed to play for Kent State and Cartier committed to Bluefield State College, a Division II program in West Virginia.
As pleased as Williams was of their signings, he was more proud that both carry a grade-point average above 3.0.
"I'm very proud that both of them earned their scholarships," Williams said. "I tell (my players) that it's not how you start, it's how you finish, and going deeper in the tournament helps them get more exposure. We were able to put it all together for a tournament run."
Lawrence averaged 12 points, 8.5 rebounds and four blocked shots. Cartier averaged 13 points.
Also on the radar of college recruiters, according to Williams, are junior guard Demetrius Walker and 6-8 sophomore forward Anthony Anderson, who Williams said has an offer from West Virginia. Walker had eight steals in the win over DeSales.
Freshman James Manns, a 6-7 forward who was the Red Devils' first player off the bench, is another player who should be on recruiters' minds over the next couple years.