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When the Marmion Cadets could not find the bottom of the basket Friday night, they continued searching. What they found was enough grit and determination to overcome a 40-28 halftime deficit.
Junior Tyler Maryanski led an impressive comeback with 21 second-half points as the Cadets earned a 70-68 triumph over visiting Buffalo Grove in a nonconference matchup. Maryanski finished with a game-high 23 points and punctuated the win hitting the game-winning free throws with 14.1 ticks left on the clock.
“We just picked up our intensity and finished our layups down low,” Maryanski said. “I was looking for openings down low and trying to finish at the basket.”
Slicing his way into the lane, Maryanski tallied 15 points in the third quarter. He connected on three layups and 9 of 10 from the charity stripe.
“We practice free throws throughout every practice and they were falling,” Maryanski added.
Despite 19 first-half turnovers, the Bison (4-4) held the 12-point margin at the intermission. Marmion (2-5) managed to make a paltry 26 percent (10 of 38) from the field in the first 16 minutes, but connected on 13 of 25 after the break.
“I’m so proud of our effort,” Marmion coach Ryan Paradise said. “We struggled and got into some foul trouble in the first half. The open looks we got we just kind of gave away.”
“We were getting our chances, but we weren’t taking advantage of them,” Paradise continued. “We pressed the whole game and offensively we picked it way up in the second half. We attacked the basket and whatever happened, happened.”
The Bison continued to turn the ball over, and Marmion eventually capitalized. An 8-0 splash early in the third quarter closed the gap to 44-36, and a 12-4 run knotted the game at the 2:18 mark. Six different Cadets scored in the third frame when Marmion grabbed a 56-54 edge.
The score was tied on three occasions in the final quarter while the lead changed hands twice. Mike Sheehan provided the Cadets largest lead sinking a pair of free throws with 1:12 remaining for a 67-64 margin and added another with 38 seconds to play for a 68-64 advantage. Yet, turnovers allowed the Bison to even the score. Steve Soifer scored on a dish from Luke Potnick, and Andrew Apel hit two shots from the foul line with 17.2 seconds on the clock.
Maryanski was fouled dribbling up the sideline and canned both attempts in the double bonus. Potnick’s three-point attempt was long and Apel corraled the rebound, but Matt Smith rejected his putback attempt. A final shot by Potnick rimmed out at the horn.
“We worked on our press the whole week in practice and really got it going,” said Sheehan, who finished with 10 points and four assists. “We thought we could get turnovers if kept the pace and intensity up.”
Potnick led the Bison with 22 points while Jake Ruddy chipped in eight for the Cadets and Danny Bicknell added nine.