There was a point midway through the second half when a nail-biting finish seemed unlikely in Marmion's nonconference boys basketball contest with Glenbard South. The host Cadets opened an 18-point lead as the Raiders struggled on both ends of the court.
Yet a strong rally and some poor Marmion free throw shooting in the final 13 minutes of play brought Glenbard South nearly all the way back, though Marmion still held on for a 67-63 victory in a game that could help decide sectional seedings in a few weeks.
Marmion (3-12) only led 25-23 late in the first half but scored the final 10 points to open a 35-23 halftime lead. The surge continued early in the second half and the Cadets' lead reached 46-28 on a Mick Sullivan basket with 5:40 left in the third quarter.
Glenbard South (7-8) didn't get its comeback started immediately. In fact, Marmion still led by 11 with 3:30 to play in the game after another Sullivan basket. Sullivan finished with 15 points and 11 rebounds. Sam Doroff and Brandon Currie added 13 and 12 points, respectively, for the Cadets.
"We got a little complacent," Marmion coach Joe Currie said. "We had a rhythm. They took timeout, gathered themselves and we didn't do all we needed to do. I knew they would make a run and get it back down at some point because they're a good team. It was just a matter of us keeping the lead."
Finally, the Raiders caught fire and a 3-pointer by Billy Powers cut the lead to 61-55 with more than 2 minutes left.
"The kids have played hard all year and that's been our thing all year," Glenbard South coach Wade Hardtke said. "Unfortunately, in close games that we've lost, we've gotten down big, battled back and gotten close and haven't gotten over the hump."
Glenbard South's Charlie Bair led all scorers with 18 points while Brandon Whiteside added 17.
Though it led the entire contest, Marmion used a combination of inside and outside shooting to claim the victory and shot incredibly well. For the game, the Cadets hit 23-of-42 shots (55 percent) from the field.
"That's huge for us because we haven't shot that well," Currie said. "A lot of that had to do with ball movement, and some of the guys getting into rhythm."
While the Cadets missed 8 free throws in the fourth quarter, they also sank enough to hold onto the victory.