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Something about pressure shots that turns Ty Carlson cool as a cucumber.
Four nights after his buzzer-beater beat Morris, Carlson calmly sank a pair of free throws with 1.3 seconds left giving Kaneland a 49-47 victory Tuesday night at Marmion.
With the seconds ticking down in a tie game, Carlson made a backdoor cut along the baseline, and Drew David hit him with a perfect pass. Carlson missed from point-blank range, got his rebound, and was fouled as he went back up.
"Coach (Brian) Johnson made a great play call there and Drew made a great pass," said Carlson, who also hit a game-winner last year vs. Morris. "I missed the first one but I jumped back and got the second one. I knew there was a couple seconds left. I felt pretty confident (at the line). I have great teammates and they make good passes to me and it was just an awesome game."
For most of the night it didn't look like Kaneland (9-5) would need more last-second heroics.
Marmion (7-10) didn't score for the first five minutes until reserve Michael Murphy drained a 3-pointer for the first of his 7 first-half points.
By that time Kaneland led 8-0 behind a pair of baskets from Carlson, and one each by Cole Carlson and John Pruett. Cole Carlson and Drew David knocked down jumpers to put the Knights up 12-5 after the first quarter.
The Cadets weren't any better in the second quarter, turning the ball over 8 times and scoring just 6 points to trail 23-11 at halftime. Connor Fedderly made a corner 3, then Cole Carlson's third-chance stickback opened the quarter as the Knights were continually quicker to the ball.
"We were not ready to play," Marmion coach Ryan Paradise said. "We had unforced turnovers. We were tripping over our own feet. I don't know what it was but we certainly didn't deserve to win tonight. We almost stole one but Kaneland deserved to win, not us."
Marmion's two leading scorers, Jordan Glasgow and Jake Esp, didn't score a point in the first half. They both turned it on in the second half, scoring 14 and 8 points, respectively, nearly enough to steal the win.
After Kaneland extended its lead to 37-22 on a Cole Carlson bucket, Matt Fletcher's putback started a 12-1 Marmion run to close the quarter -- a surge that ended with some fireworks.
Eight of those points came in the final 42 seconds -- 4 points from Glasgow and then a buzzer-beater from Esp. Kaneland coach Brian Johnson argued the ball was still in Esp's hands when the clock reached 0:00, and was hit with a technical foul. Tyler Maryanski, who provided one of the few first-half Marmion highlights with a steal and breakaway jam, made both three throws to slice that 38-26 Marmion lead with 42 seconds left in the quarter to 38-34.
That once-safe 15-point lead then quickly shrunk to 38-37 when Glasgow opened the fourth quarter with a 3-pointer.
"I thought the ball was in the kid's hand and they (the referees) thought differently and I said a couple things about it," Johnson said. "That was that. I'm an animated guy and I constantly tell refs it's nothing personal. For the most part they are good with me but they had had enough and I understand that. But I'm also going to stick up for my guys."
Kaneland suffered another tough break with 4:02 left in the game when Pruett was whistled for pushing off, his fifth foul. Three of his five fouls came on the offensive end.
With Drew David also playing with four fouls, Kaneland turned to Tyler Carlson who made four straight free throws to keep his team up 47-44 with 1:02 left. On the Cadets' next possession, Michael Sheehan come off a screen at the top of the key and tied the game at 47 with his 3 with 43 seconds left, the only time all night Kaneland didn't lead.
From there Kaneland held for the last shot and took the lead on Carlson's free throws, which finished his 10-of-12 night at the line. Marmion overthrew a desperation baseball heave pass on its last possession, which Tom VanBogaert intercepted to end the game.
"We knew they were going to make a charge, Marmion is a great team, we knew that coming in," Ty Carlson said. "We just tried to stay composed with John one of our main ballhandlers out. We just held on, got the win."
Pruett and Tyler Carlson both scored 16 points to lead all scorers. Cole Carlson added 10 points and 3 steals.
"I thought the key to the game was the first three quarters we played really hard and John Pruett was outstanding in my opinion," Johnson said. "When he goes we look pretty good. I challenged him today and he really stepped up.
"It was tough having Drew and John in foul trouble and asking guys to do things they aren't used to doing. That puts a lot of pressure on other guys and I thought we handled it well for the most part. I was really happy with how we executed down the stretch."
After making just 5 of 19 shots in the first half, the Cadets shot 12 for 22 in the second. Danny Bicknell grabbed 9 rebounders to lead all players.
"We turned it on but we lost," Paradise said. "We tend to do that. That's why we're close to .500. That's what you get with a .500 team, games you show up, games you don't, halves you show up, halves you don't. We can't do that and win."