Burton’s 32 helps No. 2 Penn beat No. 1 Marian

MISHAWAKA – It was a royal moment at Penn Palace.

Seconds after the last horn sounded in 4A No. 2 Penn’s 66-52 win over 3A No. 1 Mishawaka Marian on Friday night, the rowdy Kingsmen student section poured onto the court to devour their hero.

In the midst of the madness, the man who led the Kingsmen (12-1, 5-0 NIC) to victory was senior guard Markus Burton. But you wouldn’t have known until he rose on the shoulders of a fellow student in a serenade of “MVP” chants.

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There was no doubt that this was his castle, his kingdom.

And that Friday night he earned every second of it, topping Penn’s record books and then helping the Kingsmen to their first win over the Knights in nine seasons.

Burton, who finished the game with 32 points, became the all-time leader of the program, surpassing Noah Applegate’s career first-half point record of 1,709.

Penn's Markus Burton (3) celebrates with students after Penn defeated Marian 66-52 on Friday, January 20, 2023 at Penn High School.

“I was just playing, trying to win and not keeping track of my points,” Burton said afterwards. “When they told me in the dressing room (at half-time) I was really happy.”

And it showed in the third quarter when he came out and scored Penn’s first nine points of the second half and extended a nine-point lead to double digits at halftime. The Kingsmen’s victory was a complete team effort, seven goalscorers combined for 51% from the floor, but Burton, as he has been all season, was the catalyst.