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2018 Post Register All-Area Boys Basketball Player of the Year: Derek Marlowe, Hillcrest

In this photo illustration Hillcrest’s Derek Marlowe poses for a photo. Marlowe is the Post Register’s All-Area boys basketball Player of the Year. Photo by John Roark/ Jroark@postregister.com

By LUKE O’ROARK | @LukeORoark
Loroark@postregister.com

Pick any spot on the basketball court — any.

Corner pocket 3-pointer?

Elbow jumper?

27-feet out?

Hillcrest senior guard Derek Marlowe will probably make it.

Behind a calm demeanor and streaky shooting, Marlowe helped Hillcrest boys basketball reach uncharted territory in 2018.

It’s the main reason why he’s the 2017-18 Post Register All-Area Boys Basketball Player of the Year.

Hillcrest’s Derek Marlowe (1) looks to get a three point shot off in front of Rocky Mountain’s Hunter Ranstrom (23) during the Idaho State Boys 5A Basketball Championship at the Ford Idaho Center in Nampa, Idaho. Photo By Steve Conner

“Once he gets going, watch out. Watch out,” Madison coach Travis Schwab said of Marlowe. “He could catch fire at any time and take a game over.”

Towards the latter portion of Hillcrest’s season, its student section frequently chanted “Player of the Year!” after Marlowe took over conference games.

And it was chanted often. Marlowe took over many District 6 basketball games this past winter.

Specifically, it was his 3-point shooting — at times, back-to-back-to-back over local perimeter defenses — that torched opponents and helped the Knights reach their first 5A state tournament berth. Even sweeter: his 27 points in the 5A state championship game almost won the whole dang thing for Hillcrest.

“I was blessed with some talent, I would say, but most of my performance — the stuff that makes me play well — was what I worked on myself,” Marlowe said recently in a sit down interview.

“Ever since I was young, I loved to play basketball, and so around seventh grade, I made the basketball team on the eighth grade team as a seventh grader. And playing with those older kids showed me that if you want be the best, you want to play with the best, you have to work like the best,” he added.

From out hustling local cornerbacks as a wide receiver in football to scoring 43 points against Bonneville behind 10 3-pointers on Feb. 2, Marlowe said he prides himself on leading by example.

And leading by example is exactly what he did in 2017-18.

After senior teammate Trey Johnson went down with a broken wrist early in the season, Marlowe took the reigns for Hillcrest.

Hillcrest’s Derek Marlowe is the Post Register’s All-Area boys basketball Player of the Year. Photo by John Roark/ Jroark@postregister.com

Local coaches said they always had to know where the 6-foot-2 point guard was on the court. He averaged 16.3 points per game on 40 percent 3-point shooting and 2.8 steals per game.

“I felt when Trey went down, he took it upon himself to win,” Bonneville coach John Tucker said. “He’s just a great ball player.”

After Marlowe and the Knights beat Rocky Mountain in the opening round of the 5A tournament, Hillcrest coach Dave Austin labelled Marlowe “cool as a cucumber.”

Confident and a smooth 3-point shooter, that ‘cool cucumber’ has expressed interest in playing at Dixie State after serving an LDS mission. Treasure Valley, Snow College, Umpqua Community College and some northeastern community colleges have also reached out to him since the 5A tournament, he said.

But wherever Marlowe’s future lies, no one can take away his special 2018 season.

“He has it in him to take over games when need be,” Hillcrest coach Dave Austin said of Marlowe on March 1. “Derek is one of the top two or three players I’ve coached in all of the years I’ve been coaching. I’d put him right up there at the top. Just the composure he has. He doesn’t let things get to him. He never gets rattled.”

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