Boys basketball: Marquette wins an ugly one over River Forest
By Nick Nochevich Post-Tribune correspondent January 18, 2013 9:32PM
Updated: February 20, 2013 6:15AM
LAKE STATION — Marquette earned the win and the opportunity to play in the Greater South Shore Conference tournament championship.
But it wasn’t pretty in the eyes of their coach as the Blazers held off a tough River Forest squad, 56-52.
“It’s a win, but it sure was ugly,” said Marquette coach Donovan Garlets. “We did not play the way we know we can, missing quite a few shots from the perimeter and missing some free throws against a team that played their hearts out in River Forest.”
The Ingots (6-6) came out aggressively in the first quarter riding the coattails of senior Justin Pennington, who had the hot hand early with 11 points in the period on his way to a game-high 21 points.
Marquette (9-3) settled down late in the quarter and took advantage in the second quarter when River Forest had Pennington and Francisco Cardenas go to the bench with foul trouble. The Blazers drove to the basket and outscored River Forest 21-11 in the quarter to take a 35-27 lead into the locker room.
River Forest wasn’t about to give in and mounted a solid comeback in the fourth quarter to get within two points. But a late fast-break layup by Ryan Fazekas sealed the deal for the Blazers.
In addition to the solid effort of Pennington, River Forest got 11 points from Brandon Laas and nine from Fernando Cardenas.
“I’m very proud of our kids in the way they played and never gave up, even when we had guys in foul trouble they kept fighting hard and that’s a tribute to their desire to win,” said River Forest coach Jason Quigg. “I told them, if they continue to play with that kind of heart, they are going to win some games.”
The Blazer, who will face Bishop Noll in Saturday’s championship at Calumet, was led by Fazekas’ 19 points while Braxton Miller added 14.