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St. Viator has a bad habit of getting off to sluggish starts.
That might come back to bite them one day but it didn’t Wednesday night against Glenbrook North.
The Lions overcame a 13-point second quarter deficit to pull off a thrilling 67-65 nonconference win in Arlington Heights.
“We’ve been in this situation a few times this year but we always get back in it again,” said St. Viator sophomore Mark Falotico, who scored 16 points on the night. “It was mostly our defense and we started moving the ball better.”
While the Lions got back in the game in the second, they could never pull away. St.Viator held a 49-48 advantage going into the fourth but it made its move with the score tied at 59-59.
Back-to-back field goals by Ore Arogundade and Patrick Martin (16 points) gave the Lions a four-point lead with 1:36 to play.
The Spartans’ Jason Markus answered, knocking down a jumper with 54.6 seconds to play to cut the lead to 63-61.
Glenbrook North had a couple of fouls to give so they played aggressive defense but couldn’t force the turnover and fouled Martin with 31.7 to play.
Martin drained both free throws but the Spartans quickly scored thanks to a field goal by Jan Siegien (10 points) with 22.2 seconds left to trim the deficit to 65-63.
Glenbrook North fouled again sending Arogundade to the free-throw line. The 6-3 junior guard calmly sank two free throws with 18.3 remaining.
The Spartans got another quick score, this time an inside bucket by 6-8 senior Andrew McAuliffe (18 points) to cut the lead to 67-65.
Martin was fouled again and missed the front end of the 1-and-1 with 6.7 seconds to play giving Glenbrook North life.
But an off-balance three pointer by McAuliffe was short allowing St. Viator to escape with the win.
“I just felt like we got tired and run down in the fourth,” said Markus, who led all scorers with 20 points. “We weren’t getting back on defense. But this loss will help us get further this season.”
Kurt Karis added 14 points for the Spartans.
Glenbrook North (7-7) started the game strongly thanks to it ability to force turnovers and get second chances.
The Spartans led 19-9 at the end of the first quarter and expanded it even further in the second. Markus knocked down a three-pointer, then stole the inbound pass and laid it in to give Glenbrook North a 28-15 lead with 5:36 left in the second.
St. Viator (10-3) finally got going after that, closing the half with a 18-7 run to pull within 35-33. Six different Lions’ players scored during the spurt.
“Our defense ignited that run,” said Arogundade, who also had 16 points for the Lions. “We weren’t playing as good on defense as we should have (to start). But we scored 24 points in the second quarter and that all came from defense.”
The third quarter was back-and-forth but St. Viator took a 49-48 advantage into the final quarter quarter.