AURORA – You can’t accuse Marmion coach Ryan Paradise of being repetitious, especially during the Cadets’ recent five-game skid.
The Cadets have used multiple starting lineups throughout the season as Paradise searched for the right winning combination.
Paradise’s impatience paid off Friday night as Marmion held on for a 60-53 Suburban Christian Conference Blue Division win over host Aurora Christian.
The last man off the bench, Corey Friel, provided a spark for a Cadets’ squad desperate for some offense.
Friel knocked down three 3-pointers in the first half to help Marmion (6-13, 2-3 SCC Blue) take a double-digit lead and held off a charging Eagles’ squad in the second half to pick up its second conference win.
“It was different for us this time. In the past when we’ve lost games it was usually because we went in the tank mentally,” Paradise said. “When they made their run, it wasn’t anything that we were screwing up. This time, after having a couple of ugly offensive possessions, we were able to clean it up. We got big contributions from Corey and Danny Bicknell was a monster on the glass.”
Underlying Paradise’s propensity to try different lineups, the Marmion coach called on Friel to try and help shake the Cadets out of an early first-half offensive funk.
Friel’s three consecutive 3-pointers gave the Cadets a 37-26 halftime lead.
Aurora Christian (9-8, 0-5) quickly worked its way back into the contest in the third quarter.
After Marmion’s Alex Theisen buried a 3-pointer at the start of the quarter to give the Cadets a 40-26 lead, Aurora Christian held Marmion to just six points the rest of the quarter.
The Eagles capitalized on a technical foul that was called on Marmion’s bench as Ryan McQuade’s two free-throws brought Aurora Christian to 46-43.
Ryan Suttle’s lay-up pulled Aurora Christian to within 46-45 early in the fourth quarter but that was as close as the Eagles would get.
Each Aurora Christian basket seemed to have a Marmion answer, especially from sophomore Jordan Glasgow.
Glasgow scored eight of his 12 points in the fourth quarter, including a key steal and coast-to-coast lay-up that provided Marmion with a 56-51 lead.
“We never broke down or lost our composure and always made the right decisions when they were pressing us,” Glasgow said. “Usually we break down and everyone tries to do everything by themselves and that’s when it gets bad. Tonight, the scoring was a lot more spread out and it was harder for them to defend us.”
Aurora Christian, who has yet to win a conference game, pulled to within 56-53 with 1:59 to go after a Suttle bucket.
On the Cadets’ ensuing possession, Marmion ran off more than a minute off the clock before Aurora Christian finally fouled Mike Sheehan with 40 seconds to go. Sheehan knocked down both free-throws before Suttle was called for an intentional foul on the Eagles’ next offensive possession.
Sheehan knocked down both free-throws that effectively ended the game with 25 seconds to go.
“They earned the victory tonight. They did a really good job of spreading us out in the fourth quarter,” Aurora Christian coach Pat McNamara said. “I was proud of our guys that we fought hard and cut the lead to one. The effort was there, we just needed to be a bit more patient on offense.”
Glasgow led a balanced Marmion offensive attack as nine of the 11 players that took the floor scored. Theisen added 11 while Colin Kavanaugh and Friel both had nine points.
Cory Windle scored 16 points for Aurora Christian who will look to end its five game conference losing streak against Wheaton Academy tonight.