AURORA – Marmion stepped on the gas at the start of Tuesday night’s Suburban Christian Conference crossover boys basketball game with visiting Montini and the Cadets barely tapped the brakes the rest of the way in an 80-56 victory.
It was senior night at Alumni Hall, and senior guard Michael Sheehan got things rolling for Marmion by drilling a pair of 3-pointers in the first two minutes.
“Coach just told us to have energy,” Sheehan said. “It’s a big night for the seniors. Our teammates have supported us throughout the year. They wanted us to have a great night. We just wanted to pick up a win. … We just kept the pedal to the metal.”
Sheehan led all scorers with 21 points. He connected on five shots from beyond the arc.
“My teammates really got good screens,” Sheehan said. “They really set up my shots. The ball went in the hole, luckily. Coach says put the orange ball in the orange thing, so that’s what I did.”
Other Cadets also were pretty successful at getting the ball through the orange thing, including 6-foot-5 junior forward Jake Esp, who scored 19 points, and junior guard Jordan Glasgow, who added 13.
Senior Danny Bicknell finished with nine points to go along with a game-high 13 rebounds.
“Danny’s a horse,” Marmion coach Ryan Paradise said. “He’s barely six feet, but he’s got more heart than anybody I think I’ve ever coached. … The teams we’ve been playing lately – Wheaton Academy is huge, St. Francis is physical, Montini is physical. And all I have to say to Danny is, ‘Who’s going to be the first to 10 rebounds?’ ”
Marmion (11-11) scored 19 of the game’s first 22 points, but the Broncos (7-11) clawed their way back into the contest in the second quarter, cutting the gap to five on a basket by Tom McGillicuddy (12 points) at 3:20 before halftime.
“They came out fired up,” Montini coach Brian Opoka said of the Cadets. “It was senior night. They had a lot of enthusiasm. The gym was rocking. Kudos to their players. … We had to work for everything we got. We got great looks. They didn’t fall.”
Marmion led, 41-29, at halftime and came out hot again in the third quarter, scoring the first seven points of the half to open up a commanding lead.
“We were focused and we executed really well tonight,” Paradise said. “Offensively, I think we’re really in sync with what we should be looking for and where we’re getting our shots.”
Senior Tyler Maryanski scored seven points for the Cadets, who will try to finally get above .500 Friday night at Glenbard South after starting the season 0-6.
“Coach just said we’re at the top of the mountain,” Sheehan said. “We’re playing the best basketball we have all season, so I expect us to keep doing that.”