Marmion junior Jordan Glasgow said he usually doesn't try to contribute offensively. He might want to reconsider.
Focusing his usual gusto on St. Francis Wednesday at a Class 3A Kaneland regional semifinal in Maple Park, the 6-foot-1 junior scored 10 of his 21 points in the first quarter.
Later he drilled a pivotal 3-pointer to help sink No. 2 seed St. Francis 73-57 as No. 3 Marmion reached its first regional final since 2011. Kaneland, the top seed that beat Marmion 49-47 on Jan. 14, awaits at 7 p.m. Friday.
"I don't try and look for my own shots as much as I feel like I did tonight," said Glasgow, who added 4 steals. "I just shot the ball and it went in and I felt much more confident in my shot after that, and I just started shooting more."
He had help. St. Francis (15-10) emphasized defending Marmion point guard Mike Sheehan, but it left holes. Glasgow, forwards Jake Esp and Tyler Maryanski and a Sheehan 3 helped Marmion (16-14) post a 22-14 lead after one quarter.
"They weren't making layups in the first quarter," said St. Francis coach Bob Ward, "they were draining shots from parts unknown."
St. Francis forward Kilian Brown urged St. Francis within 33-29 late in the first half, but then Marmion's Corey Friel received two passes, fire-drill style, and buried a 3 from the corner to push it to 36-29 at halftime.
Esp scored 16, Friel 15 and Maryanski 10 while 6-2 forward Danny Bicknell grabbed 10 rebounds.
"Just multiple guys handling the ball tonight helped us out tremendously, took a lot of pressure off Mike," Marmion coach Ryan Paradise said.
A choppy game of 40 fouls and 44 free throws, Marmion cruised to a 49-38 lead after three quarters, but St. Francis' Zach Prociuk and Jason Sullivan rallied the Spartans within 51-44 early in the fourth quarter.
In a sequence that doomed St. Francis despite two mid-quarter Sullivan 3s, St. Francis got called on a foul, then a technical foul. Esp hit 2 free throws, Friel 2 more and off the inbounds play Glasgow, no hesitation, netted a 3 from the left wing for a 14-point margin.
"We almost couldn't stop him," said Brown, whose 21 points with 10 rebounds led St. Francis. Sullivan scored 14 points, Prociuk 12.
Glasgow said the play was designed to go inside, but noted: "I stepped into it and I was open so I shot it."
"I think that was a backbreaker right there," Paradise said.
Six minutes remained, but a 12-8 edge over the next four minutes iced it.
"We were 20 for 27 (on free throws overall) and I think that's what put it away for us," Esp said.
"They were the tougher team tonight and they're playing really well at the right time of the year, so that's a good thing," Ward said. "We thought we were playing pretty well, too. The problem with the state tournament, you only get a chance for one clinker. And they had a lot to do with that clinker."