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Mustangs Ride Shooting Wave Into Webster Finals

December 14, 2012
Marquette Mustang Basketball

The essence of the game of basketball is putting the ball in question into the ring at each end of the court.  Essence accomplished on a Friday night at Webster Groves as Marquette took out the host school in the semi-finals of the Webster Classic; ending the Statesmen’s streak of title game appearances at eight in a 66-44 victory.

Two free throws by Tanner Stabenow to open the proceedings were followed by a pair of buckets by the home squad but when Brooks Gerrity hit on a driving lay-in to make the score 6-4 Mustangs, MHS had taken a lead it would not relinquish the rest of the evening.  The first five field goal tries by the Mustangs all splashed home and by the time Matt Hink hit on his third field goal of the first period, the MHS lead had stretched out to 17-9 at the end of a period.

While Marquette attacked the bucket area in the early-going, it was a long-range attack which set the tone in the second quarter.  After a Sam Ploeger three found net, Gerrity went on a rampage.  The junior guard nailed three straight from long-distance and extended the lead to 20+ with just over 3:00 left in the half.  A Mustang squad which had played a balanced, ball-sharing, effective floor game faced its first bit of adversity late in the half, turning it over five times in the last moments of the period.  The Statesmen were able to take advantage and pull the game back to within 13 at 36-23.

An 8-0 run to start the second half gave Marquette a cushion it would be able to lean on as the road to the program’s first appearance in the Webster Classic became clearer.  A Dillon Jones jumper and trey along with a long Stabenow jumper from the left corner made it 44-23.  Matt Hink later added a couple of buckets and a three-point play from the lane to help his squad extend the margin to 22 at 55-32 after three quarters.  The 6-5 senior collected a dozen defensive rebounds in the contest and 13 overall for a career high and the most defensive caroms ever collected in Marquette history by a player not named Rosburg (brothers Andy and Ryan). 

The fourth was highlighted for the anthracite-clad Mustangs junior Justin Wojtowicz’ first career varsity points and 11 trips to the charity stripe for the visitors who were more than in control in the late stages of the contest due to a balanced attack featuring four players in double-figure scoring aided by a career-high nine assists by senior guard Chris Lenzen.

The second win of the season moves Marquette into the aforementioned Webster Classic title game.  In this contest, the Mustangs will take on perennial-power Maplewood-Richmond Heights who were able to come back from an early deficit against a red-hot Lee’s Summit squad in the other semi-final.  Tip-off for the championship match-up is at 4:30 on Saturday, December 8 at Webster’s Roberts Gymnasium.

Leading Scorers:  Matt Hink-17, Brooks Gerrity-15, Dillon Jones-10, Tanner Stabenow-10.  Leading Rebounders:  Hink-13, Max Sidney-7.  Leading Assists:  Chris Lenzen-9, Jones-5.  HARD HAT AWARD WINNER:  Matt Hink

For game stats-click HERE

Video Highlights-click HERE

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