COLUMBIA — Looks aren’t the only thing twins Allison and Megan Marshall have in common. It turns out they can both shoot an accurate 3-pointer consistently.
The Marshall twins, a pair of 5-foot junior guards on the Rock Bridge girls basketball team, scored three 3-pointers each Thursday night in the Bruins’ 63-24 victory over visiting Helias. The tie sparked laughter from teammates at the end of the game.
The Marshalls have different jersey numbers, Megan Marshall is 5, while Allison Marshall wears 13. They have different colored hair, Allison Marshall died her’s blonde. Megan Marshall is right-handed, while Allison Marshall is a lefty. To teammates, the girls do not look identical, but defenders can’t tell the difference.
“It’s an advantage over the defense, especially when playing man-to-man,” Megan Marshall said. “They get confused and don’t know which one of us they are supposed to guard.”
That’s not the only advantage. The two have played basketball together since they were in fourth grade. They have chemistry that even well-coached teams do not have.
“I know where she is on the court and what she’s going to do next without having to look for her,” Megan Marshall said. “I know she’ll help out if I get stuck, and I know when she’s going to pass me the ball.”
They share an intimate support system that goes deeper than the surface. When Megan Marshall participated in a 3-point shooting contest earlier this season, Allison Marshall said she felt her nervousness as if it were her own.
While they are extra close, there are also strong bonds with their Bruins teammates. Many of the girls on the team have played together for more than 5 years. For the seniors, Thursday night was an emotional last home game. Rock Bridge seniors Amaya Williams and Orreshia Chatman have played basketball with the Marshalls since they were in seventh grade.
“We put our seniors off on a good game,” Megan Marshall said. “It was bittersweet. It was the last home game, and we came ready to play tough tonight.”
Megan Marshall led the Bruins with 11 points, followed by Williams with 10. Allison Marshall scored nine, and both Laura Jursek and Carmen Boessen had eight points.
Strong passing and offensive movement led to an early lead for Rock Bridge, which claimed a 31-10 advantage at halftime. By the third quarter, the Bruins held a 30-point lead and continued to play strong defense, holding Helias to only 14 points in the second half.
“We were very focused,” Rock Bridge coach Jill Nagel said. “We started strong on the defensive end. We had good steals early on, and were ready to shoot. We did a good job of attacking and were strong on the boards.”
The Marshalls have different tendencies, different approaches to the game and different skills. However they share a powerful shot and set the rhythm of the game. Megan scored several 3-pointers in the game against Liberty earlier this season, but last night both twins made their presence known.