AURORA – All signs pointed to Marmion finding a way to win Saturday night's Suburban Christian Conference Blue boys basketball game against Wheaton Academy.
The Cadets began the year 0-6 and have since started putting things together, disposing of St. Francis Friday night and carrying momentum into the game against the Warriors. A win over Wheaton Academy would put the Cadets at .500 and in first place in the SCC Blue.
After blowing a 10-point second half lead, Wheaton Academy needed a defensive stand to remain perfect in conference play with a gritty 66-62 win.
Trailing, 62-61, Marmion had a chance to take the lead but Danny Bicknell’s tip-in attempt of a Jordon Glasgow shot missed and was corralled by Wheaton Academy’s Gordon Behr, who was fouled. Behr, who knocked down a pair of free throws with 4.4 seconds to go to extend the Wheaton Academy lead to 64-61, was they key man defensively on the play, fronting Glasgow and forcing an errant shot.
“We’ve been trying to get over the hump for awhile; we’ve had games this year where we’ve lost at the end,” Behr said. “I wanted to make sure I got that rebound and hold it tight at the end. It was a complete team effort and the guys really came together.”
Things looked dismal for Marmion (9-11, 3-2 SCC Blue) after Wheaton Academy’s William Burdett knocked down a pair of free throws with 35 seconds to go that gave the Warriors (12-7, 6-0) a 62-56 lead. But, Glasgow buried a 3 pointer with 28 seconds to go that made it 62-59 that led to Tyler Maryanski taking a charge that gave the Cadets the ball back.
Michael Sheehan was fouled on the ensuing possession and connected on both foul shots to make it 62-61. Josh Ruggles took the inbounds pass and was driving down the right sideline but was cut off by Sheehan, who stepped up and took the Cadets’ second charge in 10 seconds.
With the ball at midcourt, Glasgow drove right and was forced to alter his shot as Behr came over to help defensively. The ball went high off the rim where Bicknell’s tip nearly went in off glass but fell into Behr’s hands with 4.4 seconds remaining.
“We were confident coming in. Wheaton Academy is a really good time and we thought we had them this time,” Sheehan said. “The set at the end there there is an option; Jordan has the drive and the layup and if he doesn’t have it, he chips it over to me in the corner and I hopefully make the shot.”
It was Sheehan’s enormous second half that nearly brought Marmion all the way back. Wheaton Academy led by as many as 10 points in the second half, but Sheehan and Maryanksi combined to knock down seven 3s after the break. The duo scored all but five of Marmion’s second-half points with Sheehan scoring a career high 26 points, 17 of which came in the second half.
Maryanski added 23 points.
“Mike and Tyler obviously had big games, but so much was going on that Matt Fletcher and Danny Bicknell’s defense in the post – their effort defensively down low the whole game I was proud of,” Marmion coach Ryan Paradise said. “It was one of those games where the last team that scores wins. The tip at the end was halfway down but we didn’t quite get it.”
Behr had a monster game for Wheaton Academy, pouring in 24 points and 12 rebounds and delighting his coach in the process.
“Gordon is super talented. When he is focused and determined like he was tonight, he’s super hard to guard,” Wheaton Academy coach Pete Froedden said. “He got big rebound after big rebound and just put us on his back. That’s what seniors are supposed to do and we couldn’t do without him tonight.”
Ruggles played steady from the point for the Warriors, scoring 13 points while knocking down a pair of free throws with 0.9 seconds to go that made it a two-possession game.