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Boys basketball: St. Francis beats Marmion in final minute

Updated: February 24, 2013 6:33AM

In a tug-o-war contest, it is usually the man at the end of the line that makes the difference. Jason Pisarski was that man at St. Francis Tuesday night.

Trailing by the slimmest of margins with less than a minute to play, Pisarski stole the ball and went in for the go-ahead layup. Moments later, he grabbed the biggest rebound of the game.

Pisarski’s steal and layup parlayed with his rebound tugged a Suburban Christian Blue victory from visiting Marmion as the Spartans escaped with a 56-52 triumph.

After exchanging the lead four times in the fourth quarter, Tyler Maryanski (14 points) recorded the fifth lead change when he deposited a backdoor feed for a 52-51 edge with 1:30 showing on the clock.

Marmion (6-14, 2-4) held defensively and regained possession with just over a minute to play. Poised to run out the clock, the Cadets ran more than 30 seconds down before Pisarski swiped away a high dribble, went the length of the floor and cashed in the gimme for a 53-52 margin with 35 ticks left.

Jordan Glasgow (15 points) managed to maneuver into the lane but his eight-footer rimmed off, and Pisarski hauled in the rebound and was quickly fouled. Pisarski buried both attempts with 21.7 seconds to play to gain a 55-52 advantage. The Cadets’ three-point attempt went awry, and Tim Zettinger iced the game when he sank the second of his two shots from the charity stripe.

“I just knew we needed to make a play, and the clock was winding down,” Pisarski said. “He let the ball get too far away from his body and I just jumped the steal.”

“That was a great play, great play,” said St. Francis coach Bob Ward. “You talk about perseverance and resiliency, and I think he probably felt that he needed to step up as a senior.”

The Cadets trailed 44-40 entering the final frame, but captured the lead with a 7-0 burst. Maryanski opened the quarter with a putback and followed with a bucket when Alex Theisen zipped him a pass in the lane. Danny Bicknell knocked in a triple with 4:57 to play, and the Cadets held a 47-44 lead. The lead seesawed for the next three minutes as the two squads traded free throws and field goals.

“We just kept trying to fight,” Pisarski said. “We knew we would make a run at some point so we just kept fighting and finally made the run we needed to.”

“It was back and forth the last three, four minutes, and I thought we took some quick shots that we didn’t need to take when we had the lead the first couple of times,” Marmion coach Ryan Paradise said. “They made a good play on the ball, got a breakaway layup and that was the game.”

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