BOYS BASKETBALL: Cadets surge in second halfMarmion Academy's Alex Theisen shoots against Sycamore on Thursday in DeKalb. | Jeff Cagle~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: December 22, 2011 8:38PM
Alex Theisen came off the bench to provide the spark and senior forward Pete Stefanski fanned the flames.
The result was a 59-50 victory over Sycamore Thursday for Marmion Academy in the teams’ opening pool-play game at the 84th Annual Chuck Dayton Tournament. It evened the Cadets’ season record at 5-5 and may have helped ease the sting of last weekend’s loss at home to St. Francis.
“I was really looking forward to this game,” said the 6-foot-3 Thiesen, who came off the bench and finished with a game-high 18 points. “You’ve gotta bounce back from a loss like that. It’s really hard losing in the last second. You’ve just gotta get back on your horse and remember the game is not over after 30 minutes.”
The Spartans led 11-10 after one quarter Thursday and 28-26 at the half before the Cadets really got going.
“I talked about leadership at halftime,” Marmion coach Ryan Paradise said. “In the first half, people were on different pages.”
Tom Paulson (13 points) made one of two free throws to open the second half and give Sycamore a 29-26 lead, but Stefanski (17 points) hit a three-pointer and Ryan Glasgow (6 points) converted a layup.
Paulson answered by driving the baseline for a dunk and a 31-31 tie, but Stefanski answered with one of two free throws. Thiesen nailed a three-pointer and then converted a runner in the lane to make it 37-31. The Cadets never trailed after that and converted five three-pointers in the period to take a 39-35 advantage into the fourth.
“We worked the ball around and got some open shots,” Thiesen said. “(Jeff) Garofalo was shooting well, Pete found his shot and we finished shooting pretty well (40 percent from the floor).”
Marmion made 10 of 21 from beyond the arc, while Sycamore managed 4-for-8. Garofalo had three treys to account for his nine points. Thiesen added two threes and Stefanski had four treys to go with his eight rebounds and two blocked shots.
“Pete was kind of the glue in the second half,” Paradise said.
The Cadets outscored the Spartans 33-22 in the second half.
“We just didn’t do a good job defensively. It seemed like we were a step slow,” said Sycamore coach Andrew Stacy, whose club fell to 3-7.