Wheaton Academy took Marmion’s best punch in the first quarter Friday night, then succeeded in striking back the next three.
The Warriors gave up 27 points in the first eight minutes but just 31 more over the next 24 for a 73-58 road Suburban Christian Conference victory.
Marmion (3-6, 1-2) used its press to get out to the fast start before Wheaton Academy (8-1, 3-0) — which has only lost to St. Viator in its nine games — adjusted.
“We were rattled with their pressure,” Warriors senior guard Collin Roy. “We had to adjust and we came out second quarter and adjusted pretty well.”
Roy helped lead the comeback with a game-high 18 points as he was able to knife through the pressure for several baskets.
Warriors coach Paul Ferguson said better screens on their press-breaker made a difference.
“We had to keep our heads. We allowed ourselves to get rattled and made bad passes. And we just needed to screen better,” Ferguson said.
“We struggled with their pressure early on. Marmion is a real quick and athletic team. I was proud of how our guys bounced back and handled their pressure. We haven’t been pressured much. It was good practice for us.”
By halftime the Warriors had taken the lead at 42-38. A putback basket by Jake Ruddy drew Marmion within 47-44, then Ruddy came up with a steal and had a chance at a layup that could have made it a 1-point game.
The shot missed, and Roy came back with a 3-pointer to put the Warriors up 50-44. They still led by six at 57-51 going to the fourth quarter.
Marmion turned the ball over on its first two possessions of the fourth, then was called for an offensive foul denying the Cadets a chance to cut into the lead. Gabe Partain drove for a Warriors basket to extend their lead to eight, and Wheaton Academy did the rest of its damage at the free-throw line going 10 for 10 in the final quarter while the Cadets hit just 9 of 19 in the game.
“It was kind of mental turnovers,” Marmion coach Ryan Paradise said. “I’m not concerned with our aggressive turnovers or pushing the pace. When we started to come back we hit a little roadblock, our defense suffered for a couple possessions, we took a couple bad shots, we turned it over. That’s what we need to correct, not let one mistake snowball into a two-minute stretch where a lot of bad things happen. That was kind of the game at the end.”
Partain scored 17 points for the Warriors, Josh Ruggles came off the bench with 16 and Gordon Behr battled foul trouble to score 10.
“He’s (Behr) got to learn when he should step in and take a charge and when he should let it go,” Ferguson said. “Josh played some big minutes for us. He played with a lot of composure, he shot the ball well, I was really proud of him.”
In his third start junior Tyler Maryanski continued his strong play for the Cadets with a game-high 19 points giving him 19, 23 and 19 in his last three games.
“He is really athletic and his jump shot is coming and his ballhandling is continuing to improve,” Paradise said. “His confidence is climbing fast. You are kind of seeing how he can attack.”
Jordan Glasgow added 11 points and Colin Kavanaugh 9.
“That is as fun of a first quarter as we’ve been in in a long time but I thought we got tired and ran out of gas,” said Ferguson whose team hosts Willowbrook at 6 p.m. Saturday.Copyright © 2014 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.