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Smith’s shot catapults Marmion to victory

12/08/2012, 11:45pm CST
By Paul Johnson

Matt Smith’s turnaround jumper on the block with eight seconds left in overtime propelled Marmion to a 74-73 overtime win against Walther Lutheran on Saturday.

After starting the season 1-4, Marmion basketball coach Ryan Paradise started this past week with a clean slate, hoping to turn around the season before things got out of hand.

“We really said we’re 0-0 and let’s see where we go with this,” Paradise said. “We completely went away from everything we were working on from the summer. It wasn’t working for our team.”

The Cadets picked up the pace and started to press more on defense, and so far, the results have been thrilling.

Marmion posted a nail-biting nonconference win over Buffalo Grove Friday and followed it up by rallying for a 74-73 overtime win over Walther Lutheran in Suburban Christian Blue play Saturday.

The Cadets trailed by 11 points in the third quarter but forced overtime on Mike Sheehan’s three-pointer with four seconds left in regulation and then won the game on Matt Smith’s turnaround jumper on the block with eight seconds left in overtime. Marmion trailed by 13 on Friday before rallying to win.

“Coach just talked to us and said that this is our kind of thing to come back,” Smith said. “We did it again. Mike hit a big three for overtime and we pulled it out.”

Behind star senior Jon Fuqua, Walther Lutheran (3-5, 0-2) led by as many as 12 points and held a 46-35 lead late in the third quarter before he collected his fourth foul, which sent him to the bench. He never did foul out, however, and posted a line of 29 points, 16 rebounds and four blocked shots in a losing effort.

“He is a huge mismatch,” Paradise said. “Those numbers are outrageous.”

But Marmion (3-5, 1-1) started to claw back into it with Fuqua on the bench. A three-point play from Jordan Glasgow to close the third quarter cut the lead to 50-46. Then in the fourth, Tyler Maryanski came to life.

He scored seven straight points to give Marmion a 55-52 lead. When Walther came back, he scored four straight to open a 63-62 lead.

But it still took Sheehan’s heroics to force overtime, tied 66-66.

“We didn’t play with any sense of urgency,” Walther coach Al Lainio said. “I think our guards were nonchalant with the ball, careless turnovers. We just need to change the culture a little bit and start winning close games.”

Walther never made a field goal in overtime, but went 7-of-12 from the line to keep it close, holding a 72-68 lead at one point. But Marmion finished the game on a 6-1 run to win the game by a point. It was the first time Smith said he has ever made a game-winning shot.

“Coach told us what we were going to run, so I was nervous,” Smith said. “It fell and everybody went nuts, so that’s awesome.”

Smith was one of four Cadets in double figures, scoring 16 points, with Maryanski (15), Sheehan (13) and Glasgow (12) joining him. Justin Mack scored 19 for Walther.

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