AURORA – The Marmion basketball team can only hope its encore performance against rival Aurora Central Catholic goes as it did Friday night.
With 10 days until the rivals meet at the IHSA Class 3A IMSA Regional, Marmion blew away its biggest rival, 60-36, to split the season series in the Suburban Christian Conference Blue Division matchup.
Marmion coach Ryan Paradise is tempering enthusiasm for the Cadets’ win with the playoff matchup right around the corner.
“I don’t really know how much this means other than them wanting to get us back,” Paradise said. “It was kind of a dress rehearsal in that it’s a rivalry game and everyone’s up for it but I don’t know if anyone is going to take too much out of this when it’s playoff time.”
An abysmal fourth quarter sunk what was already a tough night for ACC. The Chargers failed to score in the fourth until Brad Searles hit a 3 with 25 seconds to go.
By that point, the game had well been decided as the Cadets (10-16, 4-6) blew open a 12-point third quarter lead with a dominating defensive effort in the fourth quarter.
As he did at the start of the first quarter, Marmion senior Alex Theisen started the fourth quarter with two 3-pointers that opened up a 51-33 Cadets’ lead. Jordan Glasgow then knocked down a pair of elbow jumpers on consecutive possessions and the rout was on.
Theisen finished with 19 points, including five 3-pointers in the win.
“We just needed a turn-around; I didn’t want to lose today, especially after losing to them last time,” Theisen said. “We were looking to get the ball in the middle so we could break up their defense. It wasn’t as much about shots as it was working the ball around and making sure everyone touched it.”
Theisen’s 11 first-quarter points put ACC (13-12, 5-5) in a 22-9 first-quarter hole that they never recovered from. The Chargers cut the lead to 10 points on two occasions late in the second quarter but never were able to get closer.
ACC coach Nate Drye wasn’t pleased with much of anything in the loss.
“I know we weren’t ready to play tonight. We were pretty much bad in every way, shape and form,” Drye said. “We played bad, we shot it bad, we passed it bad, we guarded it bad, we coached it bad and it’s probably going to have a bad bus ride, too.”
Marmion came out firing from the start as the Cadets’ started the first quarter on a 12-2 run. Theisen hit three 3s in the run as the Cadets’ were patient with ACC’s 2-3 zone defense.
“Alex made a couple of shots there to start the game and this is the most patient we’ve been in a long, long time,” Paradise said. “We didn’t turn the ball over and made great decisions.”
Glasgow added 14 points for the Cadets, who kept ACC big-man Phil Schuetz to eight points, which led the Chargers.