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Marmion used a spirited second half rally to give undefeated Winnebago one of its closest games of the season, but the Cadets fell short, losing 61-49 in a semifinal matchup at DeKalb’s Chuck Dayton Holiday Tournament.
Marmion plays Hampshire — a team it lost to by three earlier in the tournament — in Friday’s 5 p.m. third place game. Meanwhile, the Indians will play defending champion Moline in the title game.
Down by as many as 15 in the second quarter and 11 in the third, the Cadets (5-9) cut the deficit to 49-47 with 3:23 left in the game after a basket inside from senior Matt Smith. Even after Winnebago (14-0) turned the ball over on its next two possessions, Marmion wasn’t able to take advantage as the Indians eventually got a basket with 2:15 remaining and hit 6 of 7 free throws down the stretch to pull away.
“That was one of our closest games all year,” said Winnebago senior Jacoby Posley, who finished with a game-high 19 points. “They’re a great team. We just tried to execute our game plan. We’re not really used to our top guys being in so long because sometimes we’re up by 20.”
In a fast-paced, physical and sloppy game, the Cadets turned the ball over 20 times against Winnebago’s pressure defense.
“We play the exact same pace as they play, so that’s what’s frustrating about the number of turnovers,” Marmion coach Ryan Paradise said. “We practice it against ourselves everyday. We’re used to that pace. I was upset with some of the decision-making.”
Marmion managed to make it a one possession game in the fourth despite the absence of junior starter Tyler Maryanski, who fell hard to the ground on a drive to the hoop with 3:58 remaining in the third and did not return. He finished with 11 points and four rebounds.
“I would say he’s doubtful for [Friday],” Paradise said. “He landed hard on his lower back and can hardly walk. We’ll see. We’re gonna be smart about it. We’re not gonna bring him back to win a third place game.”
Sophomore Jordan Glasgow led the Cadets with a team-high 13 points. Matt Reinke added 14 points for Winnebago.