BETHALTO — Shandon Boone gave the Marquette Catholic High Explorers just what they needed Tuesday night.
His basket with 2.5 seconds remaining in overtime lifted the 5-1 Explorers over the Eagles, 45-43, in a nonconference boys' basketball game. CM is 3-2.
“It’s the best shot I’ve made so far,” said the 5-foot-8 Boone, a junior guard and transfer from CBC High in St. Louis. “Coach (Steve Medford) wanted me to take the last shot and it went in the basket.”
The lefty Boone maneuvered his way down the lane and toward the hoop in the closing seconds of overtime. He flipped in a running shot from about three feet.
“We wanted him to attack the basket and that’s what he did,” Medford said. “It’s a treat to have him on this team. He’s a good player, very unselfish and has done a good job adapting to our system.”
CM got a closing shot before the buzzer in OT, yet Jakob Lowrance’s 3-point try came up short. The Eagles wondered whether the 6-foot-8 senior got fouled on the long shot. However, they didn’t get a call and the Explorers survived.
“They made a nice play,” CM coach Doug Carey said of the Explorers setting up Boone’s winning shot. Boone missed a 3-pointer at the end of regulation, keeping things locked at 41-41 and forcing the extra session.
Carey added, “We knew who was going to get the ball, but we weren’t smart enough to stop him. And he (Boone) made a nice shot.”
Boone said, “I should have made the first shot at the end of regulation. It was great I made the second one.”
He led all scorers with 16 points, including four treys. The Explorers needed his 6-for-9 overall shooting. They trailed 37-28 with 5:55 to play in the game before making their comeback.
Trey Aguirre’s steal and pair of free throws capped a nine-point burst to knot things at 37-37 with 3:17 remaining.
“We got it to the point where we wanted to work the ball around and score. But we didn’t score,” Carey said of the Eagles’ inability to close out the Explorers. Adam Hill (nine points on three treys) and Caleb Buhs (eight points) led CM. Top gun Lowrance, hampered by foul woes, scored just six points. Marquette’s Max Goepel, assigned to Lowrance in a box-and-1 defense, contributed 10 points. So did Ben Sebacher.
“We did a good job on him,” Medford said of hounding Lowrance. “It’s a great group of kids and they believe they are going to win. Who would have thought we would be 5-1 at this point of the season?”
Medford logged his 101st career win after getting No. 100 against Metro East Lutheran on Saturday in the third-place game of the Knights’ tournament.
“We have a good coach and a good team,” Boone said. “Coach Medford pushes us to be our best.”
Carey said, “That’s the first time we’ve faced a box-and-1 defense. We had a lot of hesitancy. It’s a learning experience for us. We will be better by the end of the year.”
The Eagles made 13 of 44 shots and were 12-for-15 from the foul line. The Explorers connected on 16 of 35 shots and 6 of 13 free throws.
CM is idle until Dec. 9 when it goes to Highland for its Mississippi Valley Conference opener. Marquette begins Prairie State Conference action Friday at Nokomis.
MARQUETTE CATHOLIC 45, CM 43, OT
Marquette 8 6 10 17 (4)—45
CM 7 11 13 10 (2) – 43
Marquette (5-1) – Aguirre 2, Boone 16, Fischer 7, Goepel 10, Sebacher 10. 2FG-9 3FG-7 FT-6 PF-11
CM (3-2) – Lowrance 6, Hill 9, Lane 7, Buhs 8, Lehnen 6, Ricci 2, Hampton 5. 2FG-8 3FG-5 FT-12 Pf-12