PERU — Ottawa Marquette Academy finally reached the win column Tuesday night with a 57-52 win over host St. Bede Academy.
Tough defense from the previous winless Crusaders squad suffocated a young Bruins squad into a tough evening despite solid performances from sophomore guard Jarret Olson and junior Jack Brady. Both Olson and Brady had 19 points to lead the Bruins’ effort while Sam Halm had 11.
The St. Bede trio drained three-point baskets to keep the Bruins in the game.
The Bruins held a two-point cushion at halftime and a four-point lead at the end of three quarters, but a disastrous fourth quarter proved to be the difference.
Marquette (1-4) played solid defense against the St. Bede guards and were more aggressive as they forced the Bruins into numerous missed shots.
“One for 13 in the fourth quarter. That pretty much sums it up there,” said St. Bede coach Mike Kilmartin said of his team’s late shooting woes. “Having three (starters) combine for just one point all night, that can’t happen.”
Marquette was able to connect on its free throws including five from Michael Sypniewski in the 40.7 seconds to lock up the Crusaders’ first victory of the year while St. Bede missed crucial free throws down the stretch. St. Bede was 9-of-15 from the free-throw line and 3 for 8 in the fourth quarter.
“Against a good, solid ball club, one that has fine outside shooters and takes the ball to the basket very well, we went toe-to-toe and played some good defense for 32 minutes to keep ourselves in it,” Marquette coach Mike McDonald said. “Down the stretch, we didn’t give them any easy looks and for the most part gave them one shot. It was a great team effort.”
Besides the scoring from Brady, Olson and Halm, St. Bede (3-2), which finished third in the Oregon tournament, received only two points from Joey Dudek and one point from Justin Shaw.
“We played five games and this was by far the most physical game,” Kilmartin said. “I thought they changed the rule, that we couldn’t put hands on. We didn’t adjust, of course, against a team bigger and stronger, but if this had been called the way they called the first four games, we would have shot 100 free throws and it wouldn’t matter if we were 1-for-25.
“That’s something we don’t have control over. We took too many bad shots.”
Marquette was led by Collin McLean’s 20 points while Skippy Martini had 10 points.
St. Bede will have plenty of time to practice as they will not play for two weeks until the Colmone Classic at Hall High School.
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