Shooters shoot. And good shooters shoot even more.
And sure, St. Viator's Trey Calvin always thought of himself as a good shooter. But when the junior missed his first four shots, he began to question himself.
"I just couldn't hit any shots," Calvin said. "My coaches kept my head up. I kept my head up and did it."
Calvin nailed a 3-pointer right out of the box the begin the second half, and the Lions were off to remain alone in first place in the East Suburban Catholic Conference with a 54-49 win over Marist in Arlington Heights on Saturday.
"I was trying to make up for the first half," said Calvin, who scored 22 of his 25 points in the second half, including 14 in the third quarter.
Calvin hit 5 three-pointers and finished 8-for-13 from the field, igniting a huge second-half start for St. Viator (20-5, 7-0).
The Lions broke away from an 18-18 tie at the half. Viator converted its first 6 shots with a pair of triples from Calvin and another by Matt Doersching. The Lions continued the onslaught, hitting 7 of their first 8 as they threatened to break the game open on a Peter Lambesis 3 to make it 35-22 with 4:26 left in the third quarter.
Marist (22-4, 5-2) then went on a 14-3 run to close to 38-36 with 7:14 left to play. But the Viator defense led by Lambesis and Jack Geary began to clamp down on the RedHawks.
"We definitely focused on our defense today ," said Geary, who forced 4 turnovers and had 5 rebounds. "We knew we had to keep them under 50 points. I was glad we were able to do that."
Lambesis guarded Marist's top scorer in Morgan Taylor, who came into the game averaging 24 points. Lambesis was up on Taylor throughout the game, holding him to 13 points and not allowing a 3-point basket by the 6-foot-2 guard.
"That was the focus all week," Lambesis said. "I knew I had to lock him down on the defensive end."
With the defense doing its job, the Lions ran off 8 unanswered, with another 3 by Calvin and a basket by Geary that made it 46-36 with 3:30 to play.
Marist tried to come back, thanks to pair of 3s and the inability of the Lions to cash in from the free throw line. Viator missed the front end of a pair of one-and-ones and converted 4 of 9 free throws.
Marist got as close as 49-47 with 35.5 seconds left. But Calvin was able to put Viator over the top by converting 5 of 6 free throws from there.
"It is never easy in this conference," said St. Viator coach Quin Hayes, whose team leads Benet, a team the Lions best earlier this year, by 1 game, with Nazareth and Carmel remaining on the conference schedule. "We didn't make it easy on ourselves. Two things we need to clean up -- our free throws and turnovers."
But Hayes was impressed with his team's defensive play.
"Our half-court defense was fantastic," Hayes said. "The boys took charges. They understood how to stop, as best you can, Morgan (Taylor)."
Jeremiah Hernandez, who finished with 13 points, echoed his coach's sentiments.
"Peter Lambesis has guarded the toughest player on every team we have played," Hernandez said. "He has done a great job of locking down."