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Boys basketball: Marmion takes command late in victory

Updated: February 3, 2013 9:48PM

Marmion Academy’s nonconference contest against Glenbard South was decided, like many games, in the first four minutes of the third quarter.

The Cadets clearly paid attention to their coaching staff during the intermission, because they cranked up the energy level several notches when they got back on the court. When the visiting Raiders couldn’t match their opponents’ intensity, Marmion seized the lead and pulled away for a 63-54 triumph.

“We just pleaded with our guys to have better energy, rebound better, and take better shots,” said Marmion coach Ryan Paradise.

Whatever Paradise and his staff communicated, the results were immediate. Trailing 36-30 at the break, the Cadets (8-14) came out in man-to-man full-court pressure. They got three early turnovers, but more important was the pressure they put on the ball that made the Raiders uncomfortable in their offense.

“They definitely turned it up a notch in the second half, and we didn’t respond well in the early part of the third quarter,” noted Glenbard South coach Wade Hardtke. “The pressure just got us in a hurry and affected our decision-making.”

While Marmion wasn’t shooting particularly well during the comeback, Mike Sheehan and Alex Theisen nailed three-pointers during the 12-3 surge that gave the Cadets a 42-39 lead with 3:26 left in the third period. They would only briefly relinquish the lead from that point.

The most dramatic change from the first half came on the glass. The Raiders (6-14) had a slight advantage on the boards in the first half, but 6-foot-8 center Tim Marshall and his mates got five baskets on offensive putbacks to hurt Marmion.

Not in the second half. Only two of the 18 points Glenbard South scored in the second half were on second chance opportunities, as the Cadets owned the glass with a 21-7 advantage.

“When we’re not set up and executing what we’re doing, we didn’t have rebounders in there the way we did the first half,” said Hardtke.

Danny Bicknell had a lot to do with Marmion’s rebounding edge. He only scored a pair of field goals, but the physical 6-2 junior was huge with 14 rebounds. For Bicknell, it was all about desire.

“Danny was a beast tonight, battling inside and playing great defense,” said Paradise. “We feed off guys like that when he’s battling hard on the boards. It just makes everyone battle that much harder.”

Still, after Jake Ruddy’s tip-in early in the fourth period widened the Cadets lead to 53-45, the Raiders mounted a final comeback. Fueled by quick point guard Chaun Rickette (game-high 15 points), South pulled to within 55-54 on a trey by Alex Jeske with 3:41 remaining. But Marshall missed the front end of a one-and-one, and Theisen and Jordan Glasgow (12 points, 10 in the second half) combined to make seven of eight free throws in the final minute to seal the outcome.

“When we slowed down with the ball and weren’t forcing things, we didn’t look for the first shot — we looked for a really good shot,” said Paradise of his team’s patience on the offensive end.

Theisen and Colin Kavanaugh led Marmion with 14 points each. Kavanaugh helped keep his team in the hunt in the first half with nine of his points. And Theisen connected on three of his four shots from beyond the arc. Sheehan added 10 points as the Cadets placed four players in double figures.

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