ALTON – Shandon Boone did it again for the Marquette Catholic High boys’ basketball team on Saturday night. He’s becoming a big boon for the booming Explorers.
Boone's basket with 4.3 seconds remaining gave them a 51-49 nonconference win against Jersey in front of a standing room-only crowd. The Explorers improved to 8-2 while the Panthers fell to 7-3.
Back on Dec. 2, the smooth moving 5-foot-8 junior guard hit a last-second basket to lift the Explorers over Civic Memorial, 45-43, in overtime. This time, he hit for a game-best 19 points on a night when Marquette retired softball standout Alexis Silkwood’s No. 8 jersey at halftime. (A detailed story about Silkwood, a 2013 graduate, will be published in this weekend’s AdVantage News).
“It was about the same result tonight that we had with CM,” Marquette coach Steve Medford said. “Shandon was able to take advantage of getting into the lane and scoring against them.
“Both times, we knew we had to get the ball into his hands the final minute of the game.”
The final minute proved to be telling in the see-saw game, where neither team could muster more than a six-point advantage.
Jersey led 49-47 with 1:34 to go and had the ball, trying to play keep-away from the Explorers. “We did a good job of milking the clock,” said Panthers’ coach Stote Reeder.
However, with 47 seconds to play, the Explorers forced a turnover as Jersey’s Luke Shively tumbled to the floor. The Panthers sought a foul, but didn’t get the call. Boone came up with the loose ball and Zac Ridenhour intentionally fouled him to stop a breakaway basket.
Boone sank a pair of free throws with 41.5 seconds remaining to tie it. Then the Explorers, retaining ball possession, worked for their last-second shot. They got it when Boone drove through the lane and tossed in a short attempt.
“That was a big swing in the last minute. We could have been up by four points with Luke going to the free throw line,” Reeder said “But it didn’t happen that way.
“Give Marquette credit. They have a good team and they'll battle you.”
Medford added, “There was a big swing of events in the last minute. Sometimes, that’s how the ball bounces and I think you have to give credit to our kids for doing what they did.”
Four treys that figured in 7-for-14 overall shooting highlighted Boone’s effort. He scored nine of the Explorers’ 17 fourth quarter points and had a seven-point opening quarter, including a four-point play. Teammate Jacob Fischer (10 points) and Max Goepel (nine points) backed Boone.
“We had a lot of close games last year and some already this season,” Medford said. “Our kids are playing with confidence and they feel like they are going to win. They expect to do that."
Drake Kanallakan (13 points), Ridenhour (13 points) and Jake Varble (12 points) led Jersey, which knocked off previously unbeaten Southwestern on Friday. Kanallakan, a 6-5 junior, made all four of his field-goal attempts, including a trio of treys.
The Panthers go to the Duster Thomas Tournament in Pinckneyville and are cast in pool play with Trenton Wesclin and DuQuoin. Jersey is the two-time defending tourney champion. Roxana is also at Pinckneyville.
“Our bench play deserves a lot of credit for what we have done so far this season,” Reeder said. “They’ve been great and made a difference.”
Marquette carries a No. 3 seed into the Columbia/Freeburg Holiday Tournament. The Explorers toughest battle in their pool appears to be with Waterloo. CM also is at Freeburg and plays in a group with the host Midgets. Southwestern is the top seed overall.
MARQUETTE CATHOLIC 51, JERSEY 49
Jersey 10 11 14 14 – 49
Marquette 13 7 14 17 – 51
Jersey (7-3) – Varble 12, Shively 6, Ridenhour 13, Witt 3, Kanallakan 13, Staples 2. 2FG-12 3FG-6 FT-7 PF-14
Marquette (7-2) – Aguirre 3, Boone 19, Fischer 10, Goepel 9, Sebacher 6, Snider 4. 2FG-12 3FG-5 FT-12 PF-13