Overachieving FM Marcus eyes title shot

Coming in to his first year at Flower Mound Marcus, head coach Danny Henderson knew his new team had a chance to excel with three talented sophomores in Marcus Smart, Phil Forte and A.J. Luckey.

He didn’t know the Marauders could be this good this quickly.

Marcus has overachieved in the playoffs, surviving a brutal Class 5A Region I by pulling out wins over Duncanville, Jesuit, Arlington Bowie and Plano West to reach the state tournament a little ahead of schedule.

It plays Fort Bend Bush at 8:30 p.m. Friday at Austin’s Frank Erwin Center in the state semifinals.

“I thought it would be a year before we could do this,” Henderson said. “Back in the fall, we went to a shootout and played against Cedar Hill and Dallas Lincoln. We did well. I knew then that we could be special.”

Strong defense has propelled Marcus through the playoffs. The Marauders are giving up just 42.0 points per game. Duncanville is the only team to break 50 against Marcus in the playoffs.

Marcus runs a deceptive man defense that can look like a zone at times. Henderson calls it a sagging man defense where the Marauders play man-to-man, but sag over to key players.

Bush will challenge Marcus’ defense as it averages 67.9 points per game and has four players that average in double digits in scoring. Bush defeated the state top-ranked 5A team, Houston Bellaire, to advance to state.

“These kids are great defenders,” Henderson said.