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Record-Breaking Shooting Night Huge in Long-Awaited Conference Crowning
February 23, 2013Marquette Mustang Basketball
Back in February, 1996, a prolific Mustang team that would go on to finish with 21 wins and a second consecutive district title won an outright war of a basketball game at Parkway Central to finish a perfect 7-0 slate in the Suburban West and the league title. Seventeen long years later, a new generation of Mustangs, with the aid of a school-record dozen three-pointers, defeated Oakville 67-53 to clinch a tie for the first SWC crown since the aforementioned 1995-1996 squad.
Brooks Gerrity opened up the proceedings with a three-pointer to put the home team up but the Tigers quickly answered by draining three three-pointers of their own to go up 9-3. Marquette then went on an 8-0 run of their own on a pull-up by Tanner Stabenow, a three by Dillon Jones and a driving lay-in by Hink and another baseline jumper, this time by Gerrity. Up 15-6 after another Jones trey (Dillon would go on to tally five in the first half alone on his way to a career-high six bombs), Marquette would extend what would be an unusually high-scoring Suburban West first quarter lead to 20-15 at the buzzer.
Gerrity hit another quarter-opening three to put his team up eight at the beginning of the second. A rare run of misses followed for the Mustangs as they went 0-3 over five trips to allow Oakville to close to 23-19. Two more Jones threes to go along with late two-pointers by Stabenow and Hink saw Marquette lead it 33-27 at the half.
The three-pointer remained the theme for the Mustangs entering the second 16:00 of play. Gerrity hit his third straight quarter-opening trey and was quickly followed up by Jones again to extend the lead to 39-31. A five-possession run by MHS that saw the team turn the ball over three times and go 0/3 from the field gave Oakville their chance. After a Stabenow bucket, the Tigers completed a 10-2 run to tie the game at 41-all. Gerrity was big scoring-wise for the entire game but especially in the third. Brooks answered the tying Tiger hoop with another three (the second of three in the quarter) and Marquette would go on to outscore Oakville 10-1 over the final minutes of the period on the strength of two late Stabenow driving pull-ups under pressure to lead it 51-42 at the quarter intermission.
Hink scored to open the fourth and the Mustangs were able to handle the ball with efficiency over the first five minutes of the final quarter and stretch the lead to 20 after a possession which saw Gerrity go 6/6 from the free throw line (to complete a career-high 28-point night) after multiple Oakville player technical called moments apart. At that point, the Mustang seniors were able to be subbed out and receive their deserved accolades from the home crowd and the subs completed the task of what became a 67-53 Mustang win and a shared Suburban West title with Eureka.
Those Wildcats of Eureka represent the semi-final opponent of the Mustangs as they open Class 5 District #3 play on Tuesday, February 26 at 5:30 inside the Marquette Athletic Complex.
Leading Scorers: Brooks Gerrity-28, Dillon Jones-18, Tanner Stabenow-13. Leading Rebounders: Matt Hink-8, Stabenow-5, Gerrity-5. Leading Assists: Hink-3, Chris Lenzen-3. HARD HAT AWARD WINNER: Brooks Gerrity
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