When their girls basketball team had finally silenced Antioch, much later than most expected, Marshall's fans got loud.
"It's mighty quiet over there," they chanted, smiling as they looked across at Antioch's bench in Concordia University's gym.
Funny, when Erika Gallimore and Taylor Feltner drained back-to-back 3-pointers late in the fourth quarter to erase an Antioch deficit that was once nine points, Marshall wasn't making much noise at all. In the end, the undefeated Commandos could scream with excitement.
And they did.
Marshall avoided what would have been a major upset by outlasting height-challenged Antioch 55-48 Monday night in a Class 3A supersectional in River Forest.
"We played our game," said Ashley Reiser, who led the Sequoits with 17 points (four 3-pointers), 7 assists, 5 rebounds and 4 steals in the final game of her four-year varsity career. "We had a game plan to stay composed and stay mentally in the game, and that's all we did. If it got to (Marshall), I'm not really sure. We just went out there and played our hearts out."
Marshall (32-0) needed to play with the same passion, and the Commandos did in advancing to play Rochester in Friday's 12:45 p.m. state semifinal at Redbird Arena in Normal.
Antioch, which had its 21-game winning streak snapped, finished 30-4. In four seasons with Reiser and her twin Amy, Antioch went 109-21 with a pair of sectional championship.
The Reisers along with Gallimore, Feltner and pesky Piper Foote nearly gave the Sequoits their first downstate berth. Despite surrendering 15 offensive rebounds and five 3-pointers to Marshall's Arkiarra Clark, Antioch stayed in the game thanks to a defensive effort that produced 14 steals, including a team-high 5 by Gallimore.
"(Marshall) had the size and the athletes," Antioch coach Tim Borries said. "The last thing I told the girls (before the game) was, 'Play hard.' They came out and played hard. They didn't give up."
The Sequoits, who led 10-9 after one quarter and 23-22 at halftime as they maintained their poise against Marshall's zone, never surrendered even after falling behind 42-33 late in the third. Gallimore's baseline 17-footer had her team within 44-37 entering the fourth.
But it was a big third quarter for Marshall, which used a full-court press to force 6 turnovers and outscore the Sequoits 22-14.
"I knew (the press) was coming," Borries said. "We tried to force some passes and they got away from us, and (Marshall) stole the ball. First half, we didn't let them have any run-outs. Second half, they got too many. For just that little bit of time, we didn't play with the composure like we did in the first half."
Borries' girls kept coming, opening the fourth with a 5-0 run that included a familiar play: Ashley hitting Amy on a cut to the basket for a layup. Down 47-42 after Clark's right-corner 3, Antioch got a 3 from Gallimore and then another from Feltner with 2:34 left to give the Sequoits their first lead, 48-47, since halftime.
"That was the biggest moment in the whole entire game," Gallimore said of Feltner's 3-pointer. "That was a complete game-changer. I literally jumped up and raised my hands with my fists in the air. I was so excited for her."
But back-to-back Antioch turnovers -- one off a 2-on-1 break that would have stretched the lead to three and another off Marshall's press -- resulted in a five-point swing. Marshall finished the game with an 8-0 run, ending Antioch's amazing run.
Gallimore and Amy Reiser finished with 12 and 10 points, respectively. Marshall got 17 points apiece from Clark and Tekia Mack and 12 from Juliunn Redmond.
"We went in knowing they were really tall and fast and aggressive," said Feltner, who had 7 points, 4 rebounds and 2 steals. "We thought we were going to do what we were supposed to do. But I'm glad with how we played because we played strong and left it all out there."