Ryan Paradise knew his Marmion basketball team needed to do a better job of protecting the ball in its second game Saturday at the Chuck Dayton Holiday Tournament.
The Cadets survived Belvidere North 65-57 in its noon game despite committing 34 turnovers and having six players with two or more fouls heading into halftime.
"It's hard to get any worse than the 34 turnovers," Paradise said.
In its second game Saturday, Jake Esp scored 19 of his career-high 26 points in the first half, and the Cadets, who began the season with six straight losses, captured their third consecutive win with a 53-43 victory over Chicago Public League member Schurz in DeKalb.
"It's been an inconsistent issue," Paradise said of the Cadets' adjusting to pressure defense. "There's no rhyme or reason to how we handle the pressure."
Marmion (3-6) will face host DeKalb Monday night at 7:30.
The Cadets' victory over Belvidere North was a once-a-year-type phenomenon.
And then the two teams played the second half.
"It was certainly unusual," Paradise said.
Marmion had major foul issues almost instantaneously.
Belvidere North (3-6) was in the double bonus before the end of the first quarter.
But the squad inexplicably fired 13 3-point field-goal attempts in the second quarter. The Thunder made a grand total of one, and Marmion erupted for 23 points to take a 37-25 lead into halftime.
Marmion had six players in foul trouble, and Tyler Maryanski picked up his fourth foul -- with Paradise attempting to sub him out of the game -- late in the second quarter.
Then there were the free-throw issues.
The Cadets would ultimately go to the line 38 times, only to misfire on 16 of them. Fortunately, Jordan Glasgow was not one of them.
The junior guard, who ironically lives in DeKalb, sank all 10 of his attempts and finished with a game-high 16 points.
"I don't think I ever went 100 percent with more than about 4 free throws," Glasgow said. "It was just a relief to make all of them in a row."
Belvidere North refused to wilt. On four separate occasions bridging the third and fourth quarters, its one-time double-digit deficit was reduced to a one-possession game.
But Marmion retained the lead for the entire second half.
"We just couldn't get over the hump," Belvidere North coach Darrin Sisk said. "At the end they made the plays, and we didn't."
Marmion had only 4 field goals the entire second half but held its lead by converting 18 free throws.
Michael Murphy had three 3-pointers to augment Glasgow with 13 points.
The guard ended the third quarter and began the fourth with 3-pointers that constituted half of the Cadets' third- and fourth-quarter totals.
Maryanski also beat the first-quarter buzzer with an improbable 3-pointer.
"It was essentially the difference in the game," Paradise said of two of the Cadets' five 3-pointers.
Belvidere had more 3-pointers (9) than conventional field goals (7).
Carlos Villarreal had 11 points to lead the Thunder.