DeKALB -- An extra day off didn't cool off the Hampshire boys basketball team.
The Whip-Purs won their ninth consecutive game Friday evening, but it wasn't easy. Hampshire built a 16-point lead and had to hold on for a 63-60 victory over Marmion in the Chuck Dayton Holiday Tournament at DeKalb.
"We escaped. We got away," Whip-Purs coach Bob Barnett said.
The game originally was scheduled for Thursday but was postponed because of the weather. Hampshire (9-1) came out hot. The Whip-Purs hit 5 of their first 7 shots to take an 11-2 lead with 5:45 remaining in the first quarter. Ryan Cork nailed his first 5 shots, including a pair of 3-pointers, and scored 12 as Hampshire took a 23-12 lead after the first quarter.
"We really broke their press well and I got a lot of open shots off of it," Cork said.
A 3-pointer from Tyler Crater with 4:51 remaining in the first half gave the Whip-Purs a 30-14 lead. Then Marmion (3-8) started to chip away. Alex Theisen scored 8 points in less than two minutes to cut the deficit to 10, 32-22. The Cadets got it down to 7, 38-31, at halftime.
"We woke up. We flat out did not come out to play in the first quarter and a half," Marmion coach Ryan Paradise said. "I was real disappointed with how we started the game."
Cork and Prater hit back-to-back 3-pointers to open the second half to increase the lead by to 13, 44-31. But the Cadets wouldn't go away. They got 7 points from Mike Sheehan and 5 from Jordan Glasgow in the quarter and trailed 52-45 heading to the fourth.
The Whip-Purs led by 5 before Sheehan's layup with 1:36 made it 60-57 Hampshire. Matthew Bridgers hit 2 free throws with 30.9 seconds remaining as Hampshire again led by 5, 62-57. Theisen nailed a 3-pointer with 6 seconds remaining to make it 62-60. Cork then hit 1 of 2 free throws with 1.2 seconds left to seal the victory.
"Towards the end we struggled a little bit, but we finished it out," said Hampshire's Shane Hernandez, who finished with 10 points, 12 rebounds and five blocks. "We weren't running the clock like we were supposed to."
Cork finished with 19 points to lead the Whip-Purs. Crater added 14.
Glasgow had 20 points and 6 rebounds for Marmion. Theisen had 14 points off the bench.