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The East Suburban Catholic figures to see many games like the one between Marist and St. Viator this season. Physical play with stingy defense will be the norm and every basket will be valued highly.
That was the case Friday as the Lions overcame a halftime deficit by putting the defensive clamps on the host Redhawks in a 54-44 victory.
‘‘This is a great win for such a young team on the road,’’ Viator coach Mike Howland said. ‘‘This league is a dog fight every night.’’
Marist (5-2, 0-2) was dealt its second consecutive defeat to a conference opponent and a big reason was the pressure defense that was put on Lexus Williams and L.J. McIntosh in the second half. McIntosh had 11 points in the first half and Williams had 10 in leading the Redhawks to a 28-24 lead.
Kevin Hammarlund, Mark Falotico and Mayo Arogundade took turns guarding the pair in the second half with pressure defense. The result was that the Marist duo made just one basket out of 12 attempts in the second half.
‘‘Those two kids are great players who have played varsity ball for four years,’’ Howland said. ‘‘Our kids did a great job against them in the second half. The defense ignited us.’’
Ore Arogundade was ignited in the second half on both ends of the floor. The junior guard scored 12 second-half points on his way to game highs of 18 points and nine rebounds. He hit a three late in the third quarter that gave Viator (6-1, 1-1) the lead for good at 36-33.
‘‘I have ice in my veins,’’ Arogundade said. ‘‘They were playing a matchup zone that we never saw before in the first half and we just needed to calm down and make the adjustments and we did.’’
Williams finished with 14 points and six steals but fouled out of the game with 2:14 left to play. McIntosh tallied 17 points and four steals.
Hammarlund scored 13 points for Viator.