Late free throw seals Marion upset of Cahokia

Special to the News-DemocratJanuary 11, 2014 

— After lighting up the scoreboard for 40 points in the first half, Cahokia managed just 18 second-half points, allowing Marion to pull a stunning 59-58 South Seven upset Friday.

The Comanches trailed 58-52 with just 45 seconds remaining, but Cahokia forced a pair of turnovers on inbounds plays to knot the game at 58-58.

Marion then secured the victory with no time left on the clock.

Moe Jackson, Marion's point guard, took his time dribbling through the Cahokia pressure. He got to the arc with just two seconds on the clock and faked to get Gary Hickman in the air.

Jackson then ducked under Hickman to draw the foul. The junior guard had to make just one of three free throws to secure the win. He made the first, giving the Wildcats the victory.

"We've talked a couple times with situations at the end of a quarter, the end of a half, maybe you have a 40-footer if you have a defender there, lift him," said Marion coach Shane Hawkins, whose team trailed 40-26 at halftime. "Your chances of making one from 40 feet are not very good, especially if you have a hand in your face. If you lift him and they jump, then you have a chance to get your free throws.

"And, you know what, he took it to heart and got him in the air."

Jackson finished the game with 27 points, including a 15-of-16 performance at the free-throw line.

"We didn't come to play with the same intensity in the second half," said Cahokia assistant coach Mark Chambers. "They went on a run, we got it back, but the last play of the game is kind of disheartening."

The game was delayed for about 20 minutes in the third quarter when Cahokia reserve Jeremy Franklin suffered what appeared to be a concussion.

Franklin leaped to steal a pass and was in an awkward position when he collided in mid-air with Marion's Colton Carter. The Cahokia junior was taken off the floor on a stretcher.

Cahokia coach Darian Nash, who accompanied Franklin to the hospital, was unavailable for comment.

In addition to Jackson's 27 points, Brant Hill had 11 for the Wildcats.

Carleton Rivers led Cahokia with 20 points and Darius Austin had 16.

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