McEwen, St. Francis shoot past Marmion

St. Francis, under the guidance of coach Erin Dwyer, figured to have a solid team in 2023-2024.

Enter Bartlett transfer senior Kelton McEwen into the equation and the Spartans planned to be even better than expected.

McEwen scored 21 points including a pair of 3-pointers in three quarters Friday to lead the Spartans to a 58-31 win over Marmion Academy in a Chicago Catholic White Division game in Wheaton.

"He is the perfect fit for this team," said Dwyer. "He competes, is unselfish and fits our style."

McEwen, 9-of-12 from the floor, was 2-of-3 from beyond the arc.

"This has been a good fit for me," said McEwen. "This is a very unselfish team."

The Spartans’ defense was on display in the first half. Forcing the inexperienced Cadets into 18 turnovers during the first 16 minutes, St. Francis, who celebrated Senior Night, held a 28-14 advantage at intermission.

The Spartans’ first half engine was propelled by McEwen who scored 16 points during the first 16 minutes.

Dwyer liked his team’s defensive effort in the first half.

"We have had a different defensive mindset the last two to three weeks," said Dwyer. "We have been more physical and created more steals. We have done a better job of covering the passing lanes."

St. Francis (13-9, 2-0) made sure there wouldn't be a Marmion (11-13, 3-5) comeback by scoring the first 9 points of the third quarter.

Aaron Cook scored 6 of his 10 points during the early surge and McEwen hit a 3 as the Spartans opened up a 37-14 lead with 6 minutes left in the quarter.

Marmion’s first points of the quarter came on a 3 from Matt Stewart midway through the third to make the score 37=17.

"You can't stop playing hard against Marmion," said Dwyer. "Big lead or not their kids always play hard."

Marmion, who committed 28 turnovers, was led by Evan Stumm who scored 8 points with two 3-pointers. Stewart added 7 with a 3.

Stumm was the sixth man a year ago.

"Evan is the only player with any experience," said Marmion coach Joe Piekarz. “We lost all five starters and are very inexperienced. St Francis is a solid team and we played a bad game. We didn't take of the ball and they made us play way too fast."

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