Rockhurst senior Xavier Rhodes scored 16 points and was named MVP of the game Saturday, but the Edwardsville Tigers didn’t go quietly.
The Hawklets (8-3) on two occasions missed front ends of one-and-ones to give Edwardsville a chance to tie the game in the waning seconds. The Tigers (10-4), however, couldn’t convert and fell 53-50 in the Highland Shootout.
First, junior Malik Robinson missed an uncontested 3-pointer from the right wing. Then, with 3.7 seconds left, Rockhurst junior Dalen Ridgnal stole Robinson’s inbounds pass intended for senior Caleb Strohmeier, and the Hawklets ran out the clock.
“You need to have a play to score from anywhere at any time,” Edwardsville coach Mike Waldo said. “I don’t think my guys had a real good idea of what we were trying to do there, and that’s my fault. We should have got a (shot). I don’t blame the guys. We didn’t make the right read, but that’s because we haven’t practiced it enough.”
Senior guard Jack Marinko finished with a game-high 29 points for the Tigers after scoring 36 on Friday in a victory over O’Fallon. Strohmeier dropped in 14 points.
“He’s kind of an old-school ballplayer,” Rockhurst coach Pete Campbell said of the 6-foot Marinko. “I respect the heck of out his game. He doesn’t talk; he just plays. He’s wonderful at using screens away from the ball.
“Even when you know what’s coming, he’s still able to get his shot off. He’s one of those players that when he shoots it, you’re surprised if it doesn’t go in — even when you defend it well. Fortunately for us, he missed a few.”
Rhodes had a steal and a layup at the end of the third quarter as Edwardsville held the ball for a final shot. After the layup that put Rockhurst ahead 45-38, Rhodes raced to the other end of the court for a blocked shot as time ran out.
“The full-court effort on his part was tremendous,” Campbell said. “He’s been our point guard since he was a sophomore. He doesn’t come off the floor too much.”
Chaminade 107, Morgan Park 94
Sophomore guard Luke Kasubke led a record-setting performance with seven 3-pointers as the Red Devils defeated the defending Class 3A state champion Mustangs in the highest-scoring game in the 27 years of the Highland Shootout.
One of five Chaminade players in double figures, Kasubke finished with 28 points for the Red Devils (9-2), who held off a furious third quarter rally by Morgan Park (10-6). Chaminade finished with 16 3-pointers as the two teams combined for a record 23 for the game.
Kasubke finished 7 of 10 from behind the 3-point line.
“It was just one of those nights when my shot was falling,” Kasubke said. “When you have nights like this, you wonder if you’re going to miss.”
With five-star player and Illinois recruit Ayo Dosunmu nursing an ankle injury and going scoreless, senior Cam Burrell led the Mustangs with 36 points. Burrell scored 26 of his 36 points in the second half as Morgan Park rallied from a double-digit deficit to take a brief lead midway through the third quarter.
But with North Carolina State recruit Jericole Hellums scoring seven of his 17 points, the Red Devils retook the lead with a 10-2 spurt to lead 77-69 after three quarters.
Kasubke then helped put the game away with three of his 3-point baskets and 11 points in the final quarter.
“We shot the ball well, but we had to against just a tremendous Morgan Park team,” Chaminade coach Frank Bennett said. “For us, it’s about moving and sharing the basketball to get good shots. We shared the basketball very well tonight.”
Highland 57, Columbia 52
Columbia was seemingly in firm control with a 37-22 lead when the Bulldogs called a timeout with 7:03 remaining in the third quarter. Highland closed the quarter with a 26-3 run that paved the way for its hard-fought victory.
Junior Sam LaPorta scored a game-high 19 points, and junior Brady Feldman had 18 points, including three 3-pointers in the key third quarter for the Bulldogs (11-5).
“It was a nice run we had,” the 6-4 LaPorta said. “Some guys stepped up and made some really good shots for us. That was big in the comeback.
“We had a great desire to win. We didn’t want to get put out on our own home court like we did last year in the shootout. We got blown out (by Rockhurst). We weren’t going to allow that to happen again. We had really good fight in us.”
During the run, LaPorta said confidence was overflowing.
“I see a shot go up and I’m thinking, ‘That’s going in,’ when we’re rolling like that,” LaPorta said. “I feel like every shot we take is going to find the bottom of the net.”
Highland coach Brian Perkes credited his players. In this case, Highland’s pressure defense and its 3-point shooting fueled the comeback.
“Sometimes it’s the kids. It was the kids this time,” Perkes said. “We just said, ‘You guys have got to play.’ They certainly turned it up a notch. I don’t remember everything that happened, but I know we had a bunch of kids step up and hit some 3s for us and get us going.”
The Eagles got within 53-52 when sophomore Jacob O’Connor hit a 3-pointer out of the corner with 11 seconds left. Senior Stephan Schniers made two free throws to put Highland ahead 55-52 with 9.9 seconds left. Columbia senior Jared Germain had a good look at the rim, but missed a potential game-tying 3-pointer.
Senior Jordan Holmes led the Eagles (9-6) with 14 points, eight rebounds and five assists.
“We played seven really good quarters (Friday) and today,” said Columbia coach Mark Sandstrom, whose team defeated Central 46-42 on Friday. “Unfortunately, one quarter cost us from having two wins. (The Bulldogs’) defense fed their offense. Feldman hit three big 3s, and the momentum shifted big-time.”
Columbia led 31-22 at halftime, but Sandstrom was disappointed because he believed the lead would have been larger.
“We gave up seven points because we didn’t get matched up in defensive transition,” he said. “Otherwise, the half would have been a 15-, 16-point lead.”
Whitfield 63, Carbondale 62, OT
Missouri recruit Torrence Watson connected on a short jumper with 14 seconds remaining in overtime, then blocked a shot by Terriers senior Darius Beane as time expired.
Beane, a Southern Illinois University Carbondale recruit, sent the game into overtime with a 10-foot baseline jumper with four seconds remaining in regulation.
Named MVP of the game, Watson led all scorers with 22 points and added seven rebounds. Aurelio Stucco added four 3-pointers and 13 points for Whitfield (9-4), while Amechi Ramsey had 12 points.
Beane led a quartet of players in double figures for Carbonale (10-4) with 19 points. Clayton Greer added 12, while Davaris Macklin (11) and Zanidrelle Johnson (10) were also in double digits.
Vashon 67, Champaign Central 64
Junior Mario McKinney had a 3-point play with 1:02 to play and followed with a putback at the 24-second mark to lift the Wolverines (7-2) to victory.
McKinney led all scorers with 24 points to earn MVP honors. Senior Jonte Coleman led Champaign Central with 18 points.