Marlowe's last-second shot lifts St. Charles North over Geneva
Ethan Marlowe wanted the ball.
While it may have been a struggle for most of the night, the St. Charles North senior captain trusted himself.
With his team trailing by a point, Marlowe received a pass in the high post, took a dribble and saw his floater over two Geneva defenders hit the bottom of the net with just over 25 seconds remaining to help the North Stars hold off Geneva, 45-44, in DuKane Conference play.
After making just one field goal attempt in the first half, the 6-foot-9 Marlowe scored eight of his 11 points after halftime, including his game-winning bucket.
"Down one, I always want the ball in my hands," Marlowe said. "I trust myself to be able to put the ball in the basket [in those spots]. I trust my teammates to get me the ball. Being a captain and a senior leader, that's a responsibility that I have to take."
After leading the entire fourth quarter, St. Charles North (12-11, 7-3 DuKane Conference) saw its lead evaporate. Geneva's Chris Suger hit a go-ahead 3-pointer for the Vikings (12-12, 2-8) -- his fourth long-range bucket of the night -- with 2:10 remaining. Suger finished with 14 points.
The North Stars ran the clock down after taking a timeout before Marlowe's contested shot in the lane allowed the North Stars to escape Geneva with a road conference victory.
"Ethan Marlowe ... I'm glad he's [graduating]," Geneva coach Scott Hennig said with a laugh. "Part of the reason it was a struggle [for both sides] is because we know each other so well. I was proud of the way we played defensively with the firepower that [St. Charles North] has over there."
Geneva had a chance in the final seconds but was forced to throw up a 3-pointer near half-court in the final seconds, which fell short. The Vikings made 10-of-16 3-point attempts in the loss.
Mick Lawrence finished with a game-high 20 points for the Vikings in defeat, while Max Love joined Marlowe in double figures for the North Stars with a team-high 12 points.
St. Charles North coach Tom Poulin expected a grind and got it from a conference foe, knowing Geneva wasn't going to shy away from playing his team tough.
"[Geneva] does a nice job of working you," Poulin said. "They kept the game really close and played extremely hard. You have to give credit where credit is due. I'm happy we were able to get Ethan the ball in that spot and it was nice to see him battle through some contact and finish there to make a play down the stretch for us tonight."
It wasn't all smooth sailing for the North Stars in the second half, however. Lawrence's back-to-back 3-pointers midway through the third quarter gave Geneva a three-point advantage.
Love and Marlowe put the North Stars on their backs, igniting a 12-2 run into the fourth quarter.
Marlowe said his team can gain some confidence moving forward knowing his team can find ways to win when not at its best.
"It's always hard to get a win on the road in the DuKane Conference," Marlowe said. "It's never easy. Mick was hot all night and tonight it just seemed like the ball wasn't moving the way it usually does for us. We weren't 100% locked in at all times tonight, but we're happy to get the win. We know it's getting to that time of year where every detail matters, so we'll get back to work and get ready for [St. Charles East] on Friday."
St. Edward 66, Westminster Christian 37:
St. Edward jumped out to a 13-0 lead in the first five minutes of its home game against Westminster Christian Tuesday night and never looked back, overwhelming the Warriors, 66-37 in a non-conference contest.
It was the fourth game in a row the Green Wave dominated their opponents, according to St. Edward coach Andy Zielinski.
"During the last three or four games, we been jumping on teams and getting big leads and we kind of did it again," the coach said. "We're hoping to continue like that for the rest of the regular season and into the regionals."
The Green Wave, currently in first place in the Metro Suburban League Red Division with a 7-0 record, wind up the regular season facing strong conference opponents.
"We have a big game Friday against Elmwood Park, then play Westmont and the last game is against Bishop McNamara and they're right behind us," said Zielinski.
With a big lead, Zielinski rested his starters throughout the game -- an option Westminster (6-14), with only eight players in uniform, did not have.
"I know they were short-handed," said Zielinski. "They were down a couple of kids."
The Warriors rallied in the second quarter and pulled with 24-17 with 2:50 left in the half on a 3-pointer by Justin Glanzer. St. Edward closed out the quarter with three straight baskets for a 30-17 lead at intermission.
The Green Wave put the game away in the third quarter, outscoring Westminster 23-5 for a 50-22 lead to start the fourth quarter.
Zielinski felt his team has turned the corner offensively after the winter break. The Green Wave (18-7) has won 9 of their last 11 games.
"Shooting is contagious we tell the kids and they've been working really hard in practice," said Zielinski. "At Christmas we struggled, we had problems scoring and now it's kind of all come together."
He also credits the development of 6-foot-5 sophomore Kaden Dawson's inside game.
"He makes a big difference in our shooters. Robert Wilson is a great shooter and so is Jacob Breier and Ben (Zielinski) can knock them down," said the St. Edward coach. "And with Dawson, now we an extra threat. He's been playing really well the last six or seven games."
Wilson led all scorers Tuesday with 18 points. Dawson chipped in 11.
Carson Busto (10 points) and Jacob Biewer are the team's unsung heroes according to Zielinski.
"Carson and Jacob are kind of interchangeable. They don't get accolades, but they've been playing really hard all year. I can't say enough about them," said Zielinski. "They kind of round out the top 6."
St. Edward reserves scored 21 points in the game including two 3-pointers by Diego Bedolla.
Nathanael Ephrem led Westminster with 12 points and teammate Joram Versaw contributed 11.
-- Jared Birchfield
Burlington Central 55, Prairie Ridge 37:
A minute into Tuesday's third quarter, Burlington Central led Prairie Ridge 27-22. Then the Rockets hit another gear and rattled off the next 13 points to go up 40-22.
That held up as the final margin as Central rolled to the 55-37 Fox Valley Conference victory in Burlington.
Gavin Sarvis and Andrew Scharnowski combined for the first 11 points of the crucial run before Zac Schmidt's bucket finished it off.
Sarvis scored 12 of his game-high 16 points in the second half for the Rockets (23-3, 13-0). Scharnowski scored 15 points and also grabbed 5 rebounds. Schmidt finished with 9 points, and Nick Carpenter added 7.
"I thought we came out and really picked it up on the defensive end," said Central coach Brett Porto. "We kind of set the tone there. That led right into us cutting, moving, screening better on the offensive end, and a bunch of guys started scoring buckets there and we just got it rolling."
The Rockets went up 6-0 early, but the Wolves battled back, taking their only lead at 11-10 on a 3-pointer by Sam Loeding.
Central answered with a 9-0 run during which 4 players scored. But the Wolves wouldn't go away, cutting their deficit to 5 on 3 occasions before the Rockets' big run broke the game open.
The Rockets outrebounded the visitors, 26-17, with 6 players grabbing at least 3 each, and forced 20 turnovers. Carson Seyller and Jake Johnson had 4 rebounds apiece.
No one hit double figures for Prairie Ridge. James Muse scored all 9 of his points in the second half and added 6 rebounds for the Wolves while Mason Loucks scored all 8 of his points in the first half.
Scharnowski started the big run with a layup. Sarvis scored off an assist from Seyller, and Scharnowski scored again. Sarvis added a layup and a 3-pointer.
The game moved swiftly after that, with the teams combining for just 4 free throws in the second half.
-- Allen Oshinski
Sycamore 42, Kaneland 32:
Playing for the first time since its first loss of the season, the Sycamore girls basketball team went off against Interstate 8 foe Kaneland on Tuesday, scoring 24 of the first 29 points and knocking off the Knights, 42-32.
"I knew that would serve as a motivating factor to come out and look a little better tonight," Sycamore coach Adam Wickness said of his team's 53-51 loss to Lincoln Way-West on Saturday. "I thought they got after it on defense, especially in a first half, holding a team to seven points. It just tells you they were ready to go, ready to show Saturday was just a little bump in the road."
Sycamore (23-1, 11-0) held the Knights (15-11, 9-3) scoreless for a 9:37 stretch between the first and second quarters, turning a 6-5 game after 5 minutes into a 24-5 lead for the Spartans.
Ally Plank broke the scoreless skid for Kaneland with a jumper with 2:49 left, as the game went into halftime 24-7 -- Sycamore didn't score in the final 4:56 of the second quarter.
"We came together and played really good team defense tonight," said JaKiya Thompson, who had seven rebounds and a big fourth-quarter block on a 3-point attempt by Taylor Seaton. "We really focused on playing together. I feel like we defended the ball really well. We knew we had to guard our person so we didn't have to focus on help defense as much, and I think we executed that perfectly fine."
Kaneland coach Kelsey Flanagan said the Knights talked about taking controlled shots against Sycamore's length. She said that didn't really happen in the first half.
"We were off-balance, shooting a lot of stuff off one foot, trying to go around their length," Flanagan said. "That just wasn't working. Credit them for some of that, but also it was some mental mistakes from us in that regard."
The top two scorers for the Knights came off the bench, with Plank scoring seven and Kendra Brown adding six. Brown also had a team-best five rebounds as Sycamore finished with a 43-24 edge on the boards.
"We just came out real flat there and we didn't box out," Flanagan said. "We were getting crushed on the boards. That was a difference maker."
Faith Feuerbach led the Spartans with 17 points, while she and Lexi Carlsen each grabbed nine rebounds. Ella Shipley scored nine for the Spartans, who entered their second week without 6-4 post Evyn Carrier.
Wickness said Carrier would attempt to practice Wednesday, and if so she may return in a limited capacity at home Thursday against La Salle-Peru.
Wickness said the team responded exactly how he thought they would after suffering their first loss of the year -- a game they trailed by double digits but had a chance to win on a last-second shot.
"I think we just had to take it as a learning lesson," Thompson said. "We're not always going to have our 'on' games. It's upsetting we did lose our game, but we took away from it, we came back and we had an amazing game tonight."
-- Eddie Carifio