The one-two combination of David Brewer and Lyndell Buckingham ensured Emmanuel Wade's head-coaching debut was a successful one for Marion.
The two combined to score 35 points as the Patriots went wire-to-wire to beat Bentonville 60-50 during Da Matchup Showcase at Hornet Gymnasium in Maumelle on Saturday.
Buckingham had 19 points and Brewer finished with 16 points for Marion (1-0), which opened its season with a new lead voice on the sidelines.
The Patriots were playing their first game without David Clark, who resigned as head coach Tuesday after winning 109 games and a state title in five seasons at the school.
Wade, who was Clark's assistant, took over in the top spot and noted that he was happy with the way his team has responded after the change.
"The guys have really worked hard," he said. "We've had a really good four days of practice because that's all I've had them for. I've had to throw a lot at them real quick, but they've been up for the challenge.
"I didn't know what to expect [Saturday], but we definitely didn't show up to lose. I'm proud of the way they fought."
Winning is something Wade has been used to as a coach. He won 83.5% (71-14) of his games and a state championship during his three years at Marianna before joining Marion's staff. With the way they played Saturday, the Patriots could be in line for additional hardware in the coming months.
Marion made 7 of 11 shots in the first quarter and built a 16-5 lead, with much of that coming from Brewer. The senior hit all five of his field-goal attempts and had 12 points over the first eight minutes.
Bentonville (0-3), in turn, was just 2 of 9 from the floor during that span but picked it up considerably in the second quarter.
The Tigers made their first five baskets and missed only once in the second quarter. Bentonville scored nine of the final 13 points of the half, with Ma'aiki Dauda draining a 22-footer with 39 seconds left in the half to cut Marion's advantage to 30-26 at halftime.
The Patriots ran out on an 11-4 run to start the third quarter and pushed their lead to 41-30 on a long three-pointer from Buckingham. Marion still held a 49-38 lead early in the fourth quarter until another basket inside by Buckingham started a 7-0 rally that allowed it to extend the lead even further.
"The guys faced some adversity throughout the game," Wade said. "We kept at it, though. They gave good energy and put some pressure on some people. But overall, they followed the plan and played good solid basketball."
Mikell Lewis scored 10 points and Jalen White had eight points for the Patriots, who shot better than 50% in each of the four quarters.
Javyn Williams had 14 points and six rebounds for Bentonville. Dauda had 13 points, and Owen Dehrmann ended with 11 points.
Layne Taylor made seven three-pointers and finished with an event-high 41 points as Farmington (5-0) knocked off the host team.
Jaxon Berry added 16 points and six rebounds for the Cardinals, who trailed for only 19 seconds in the game. Taylor notched 23 points in the first half to give Farmington a 31-28 lead at halftime.
Maumelle (2-2) found itself down by 10 points in the fourth quarter but got within four on two occasions, including 58-54 with 1:20 to go.
Jacob Lanier had 17 points, and Malik Maguire scored 15 points for the Hornets.
LITTLE ROCK CHRISTIAN 62, SPRINGDALE 50
J.J. Andrews sparked Little Rock Christian (1-0) with 19 points and nine rebounds as it clamped down on the Bulldogs in the fourth quarter.
Jameel Wesley had 15 points, and Landren Blocker supplied 13 points for the Warriors, who held a 30-22 lead after two quarters and was up 37-30 midway through the third period. Springdale (0-1), which got 17 points from Isaiah Sealy, used a 9-3 run to get withing one but endured a stretch when they made 2 of 13 shots and were behind 57-46 by the three-minute mark of the final quarter.
Jarvis Palmer scored 14 points, and Cy Bates followed with 10 points and six rebounds for the Bulldogs.
SPRINGDALE HAR-BER 71, BRYANT 68
A day after dropping 36 points, Courtland Muldrew poured in another 34 points, including nine during a third-quarter stretch that enabled Har-Ber (2-0) to come back and win.
Jaxon Conley had 13 points, Mar Lee netted 12 points, and Hayden Wood tallied nine points for the Wildcats, who were down 40-29 in the third quarter but used a 17-7 spurt to close that gap. Har-Ber would eventually take the lead on a three-point play from Conley with just over four minutes to go in the fourth, and it never trailed again.
Kellen Robinson had 26 points, and Camarion Bead followed with 19 points for Bryant (0-2).
NORTH LITTLE ROCK 72, TEXAS ALLIANCE OF CHRISTIAN ATHLETES 68, OT
Ja'Kory Withers scored 23 points, including the go-ahead basket with 1:07 left in overtime, as North Little Rock (3-0) held on.
The senior added nine rebounds and four assists for the Charging Wildcats, who trailed by nine late in the third quarter until spurting back. Andre Barnes scored 14 points, Braylon Frazier added 13 points, and Blake Segars came through with 12 points, including three free throws in the final three seconds.
Darkaun King had 20 points and 14 rebounds for TACA (3-2). T.J. Burch had 18 points and D.J. Smith ended with 15 points.
JACKSONVILLE 63, MILLS 62
Jayce Tillman's free throw with 6.8 seconds left put Jacksonville (3-2) ahead to stay.
Tillman finished with a game-high 21 points as the Titans led by as much as 60-49 in the fourth quarter before Mills (1-2) rallied. The Comets used a 13-2 run to get back in the game, with Joseph Bell's bucket inside tying the game at 62-62. Mills had a chance to win after Tillman's free throw, but a three-pointer at the buzzer rolled in and out.
Jimmy Davis also had nine points and Justin Moore scored eight points for the Titans, who turned it over 11 times in the fourth quarter. Zaylin Rowland and Jaier Hardwell both had 14 points, while Miland McDaniel and Anthony Hester had 10 points each for the Comets.