Kaneland gets past Marmion with strong second half

Kaneland’s third quarter play turned Friday’s Marmion Class 3A regional championship around for the Knights.

Trailing 34-27 at the start of the second half, Kaneland tightened up at both ends of the court to pull ahead of the host Cadets, ending the period with a 42-40 lead. The Knights remained dominate in the final frame for a 58-50 win and a berth in their own sectional.

Kaneland will host Belvidere North in a semifinal on Wednesday night.

“Early on, (Marmion) was the aggressor and with the atmosphere, we were getting a little distracted so credit to their fans. We had to get the team refocused at half-time,” Kaneland coach Ernie Colombe said.

Troyer Carlson scored back-to-back baskets to cut Marmion’s lead to 34-31in the first two minutes of the third quarter. The senior, who led all scorers with 21 points, tied it at 38-38 with another bucket with under three minutes left in the frame.

Marmion’s Evan Stumm (14 points) responded with a layup to put his team back up by two. Another Carlson layup with two seconds left in the period gave Kaneland its first lead of the half. Carlson was fouled on the play and converted the free throw putting his team up 42-40 to start the fourth quarter.

“Our goal at halftime was to cut that seven-point lead in half by the four-minute mark and we ended up doing better than that,” said Colombe. “We got back into the flow. It seemed like we really locked up defensively and we went on a nice run. We started scoring inside. Even if we missed the first shot, we got the rebound.”

“In the third quarter, we were more aggressive, made no turnovers and got the rebounds,” said Parker Violett (16 points). Violett and Carlson provided all Kaneland’s offense in the third quarter.

Marmion (15-18) briefly retook the lead, 46-44, halfway through the fourth quarter. Kaneland’s Brad Franck responded with a 3-pointer that put the Knights back in front for good.

Marmion was in charge in the first half, leading 14-12 after the first quarter. A Caden Anderson (9 points) bucket late in the second quarter gave the Cadets their biggest lead of game, 34-25.

“The first half was what we thought it could be,” said Marmion coach Joe Piekarz. ”We were doing things that would give us a chance to succeed.”

Kaneland (24-5) shut down Marmion’s long-range shooting. The Cadets drained only four 3-pointers.

“The script flipped in the second half a little bit as to what was happening. We didn’t make many threes and we were being a little less aggressive going towards the basket,” Piekarz said. “And Kaneland started going more towards the basket.”

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