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Marmion's Matt Smith puts up a shot against visiting Aurora Central in Aurora on Saturday, Feb. 15, 2013. | Mike Mantucca ~ For Sun-Times Media
Now they’re even.
When Aurora Central traveled to Marmion to renew the two schools’ rivalry for the 75th time Friday night, the Chargers had drawn first blood this season after using a fast start on their way to a 63-60 win on Jan. 11.
This time, the Cadets flipped that script and got out to a 15-point first quarter lead en route to a dominant 60-36 victory to take a 38-37 lead in the all-time series. But the two teams aren’t done with each other as the rubber match comes in the state tournament when the two teams open play at the Class 3A IMSA regional Feb. 25.
“This is the most patient we have been on offense in a long, long time,” said Marmion coach Ryan Paradise. “Defensively, they played as hard as I have ever seen them play.”
Marmion (10-17, 4-6 Suburban Christian) opened the game hitting seven of its 15 shots in the first quarter, but 4-for-4 from behind the three-point arc. Alex Theisen got it started with three treys and 11 points in the quarter, and when Corey Friel drained a long jumper from the deep right corner, it was 22-7 after the game’s first seven minutes.
The Chargers tried to grind their way back into the game after halftime, shooting 7-for-11 in the third quarter and getting as close as 10 on two occasions. Any hope of duplicating the comeback Marmion posted in the first meeting when they rallied back from 23 down ended quickly when Theisen hit back-to-back threes in the opening 40 seconds of the fourth to push the lead back to 51-33.
“I didn’t want to lose (Friday) after losing the last one, and I just wanted to get my teammates going,” said Theisen, who scored a game-high 19. “Our goal was to come out and get them on their heels because that’s what they did the last time and pressure them as much as we could.”
To make the rout even worse, the Cadets ran off 15 straight points and the Chargers were shut out in the fourth quarter until Brad Searles dropped a three-pointer with 30 seconds to go in the game. Phil Schuetz paced the Chargers with eight points, while Shawn Soris, Jacob May and Searles had seven each.
The Chargers (13-12, 5-5) just couldn’t find a flow on either end of the court.
“We weren’t ready to play,” said Central coach Nate Drye. “We were bad in every way, shape and form. We played bad, we shot bad, we guarded it bad, we coached it bad … it was probably a bad bus ride too. I don’t know why we came out like that. I need to do a better job getting us prepared to play.”
Jordan Glasgow tossed in 14 for the Cadets, while Jake Esp added eight.