MARSEILLES — Three area teams were victorious on the first day of the Marseilles Holiday Tournament, which switched to a bracket format this year.
St. Bede, Putnam County and Marquette all advanced to today’s quarterfinals.
The No. 2-seeded Bruins routed LaMoille-Ohio 73-32, No. 5-seeded Putnam County held off a Hartsburg-Emden rally to win 69-59 and Marquette upset No. 7-seeded Woodland 52-46.
Leland-Earlville rounded out the area slate of games with a 58-43 loss to No. 4 Peoria Heights.
St. Bede 73, LaMoille-Ohio 32
Both teams got off to a slow start as it was a 4-2 game midway through the first quarter, but a runout basket by Damin Smith sparked a 19-3 St. Bede run to close the first quarter.
The Bruins led by at least 16 points the rest of the way, led 40-20 at halftime and forced a running clock in the fourth quarter by building a 30-point lead.
“We only gave up 12 points in the second half, which was good,” Kilmartin said. “I thought we really shared the basketball well, especially in the second half. We made some really nice passes and we made the extra pass.”
With such a big second-half lead, the Bruins played reserves for much of the second half. Ten of the 11 St. Bede players to get into the game scored.
“It’s good for team morale, but I don’t know how it helps for (today),” Kilmartin said. “That remains to be seen.”
Brad Groleau led the Bruins (9-3) with 13 points. Grant Bosnich scored 12 points and Smith added 10 for St. Bede, which plays Marquette at 5 tonight in the quarterfinals.
“They’re physical,” Kilmartin said. “We all know they were football champs and I think they play a lot of basketball like that. They have some strong kids. Curtiss Johnson is back. It’ll be a good test for us.”
Brandon Morris led the Lions (1-11) with 10 points.
“The first half I thought we played decent. I know it doesn’t look like it being down 20 at the half, but we did some nice things,” L-O coach Brent Kalsto said. “When you play St. Bede, you can’t turn the ball over as much as we do. The second half they just showed their experience.”
LaMoille-Ohio plays Woodland in the consolation bracket at 10:30 this morning.
“We know what they are — 1-3-1 (zone),” Kalsto said. “We’ll play them hard. If we protect the basketball, we can play with somebody. But if we turn the ball over and are lazy, it’ll be a lot of the same.”
Putnam County 69, Hartsburg-Emden 59
The Panthers used their aggressive trapping defense and hot outside shooting to jump on the Stags early.
Putnam County forced three turnovers on H-E’s first six possessions to help it build a 9-2 lead, and the Panthers drained six 3-pointers in the first half — including four by senior Cody Veronda — as they extended their lead to as many as 19 points in the second quarter.
“The first half I thought we did everything pretty well,” said PC coach Josh Nauman, whose team led 38-22 at half. “We shot 3s real well. We played pretty good defense. We forced a lot of turnovers.”
The Panthers started strong in the second half as well, going on a 7-2 run to take a 45-25 lead with 5:53 left in the third quarter.
Then the Stags began to chip away and cut their deficit to 13 points at 53-40 entering the final eight minutes.
H-E’s run continued in the fourth quarter, and back-to-back 3-pointers by Stag senior Robby Meeker cut PC’s deficit to seven points at 61-54.
A steal and basket by junior Harold Fay gave the Panthers a nine-point lead with 1:09 left, and PC knocked down 6-of-8 free throws down the stretch to hold on.
“We played well until we got a 20-point lead,” Nauman said. “For whatever reason, we think we can turn it off. Once things get to the point where we think we have it under control, we want to shut down. … Hartem kept playing hard the whole way. They battled. Their kids weren’t going to quit. We got it up to 20 and they kept fighting and we didn’t match that intensity. I don’t know how to fix that. We’ve talked about it and talked about it. … We let them back into it. Luckily, we were able to hold on at the end.”
Veronda led the Panthers (8-5) with 25 points, while Evan Kreiser added 10 points.
Putnam County will face No. 4-seeded Peoria Heights at 6:30 tonight.
“They’re a good team,” Nauman said. “They got seeded higher than us, so hopefully we’ll be focused, show up ready to play, get a win and get into the final four again.”
Marquette 52, Woodland 46
The Crusaders trailed 23-21 at halftime but came out in the third quarter and outscored the Warriors 17-12 to take a 38-35 lead into the final eight minutes.
“Every time we play Woodland they’re big and physical. They get to the boards,” Marquette coach Mike McDonald said. “I told the kids at halftime that we’re going to have to rebound if we’re going to get out of here (with a win), and we stepped up pretty well the second half.”
Woodland made several runs at Marquette in the fourth — getting as close as two points at 48-46 with 20.4 seconds left — but the Crusaders hit 3-of-4 free throws in the final 20 seconds to advance.
“I was stressing to the guys to make sure we’re strong and go get the basketball (because) they’re going to come after us and foul us,” McDonald said. “They did and we stepped to the line and made a few free throws at the end.”
Curtiss Johnson led the Crusaders with a game-high 20 points. Elliot Kowalski added a double-double of 12 points and 12 rebounds for Marquette (5-6), which will face St. Bede at 5 tonight.
“They have a big kid in the middle and they all can play,” McDonald said. “We’re going to have to come to play.”
Peoria Heights 58, Leland-Earlville 43
Freshman Colin Bomstad shared game-high scoring honors with 17 points, but it wasn’t enough as the Panthers fell to the No. 4-seeded Patriots.
The Panthers (3-9) fell behind 15-10 after the first quarter and 27-19 at half.
Nolan Baumbach finished with nine points for L-E, which plays Hartsburg-Emden at Noon today.
Kevin Chlum can be reached at 220-6939, or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @NT_SportsEditor.