GRANVILLE — For the second consecutive night, area boys basketball teams had a split decision at the Tri-County Conference Tournament at Putnam County.
After Putnam County won and Henry lost on Monday, No. 5-seeded Hall beat No. 4-seeded Peoria Christian 65-58 in Tuesday’s first game, while No. 6-seeded Marquette fell to No. 3-seeded Woodland 65-62 in overtime in the second game.
With the victory, No. 5 Hall (6-14) will play No. 8 Roanoke-Benson (5-14) in today’s 6 p.m. semifinal, while No. 2 Putnam County (14-7) will play No. 3 Woodland (12-8) in the 7:30 p.m. semifinal.
No. 1 Henry (16-4) will play No. 5 Peoria Christian (10-9) at 6:30 p.m. Thursday in a consolation semifinal, while No. 6 Marquette (9-8) will meet No. 7 Midland (7-13) at 8 p.m. Thursday in the other consolation semifinal.
No. 9 DePue will play No. 10 Lowpoint-Washburn for ninth place at 5 p.m. Thursday.
Hall 65, Peoria Christian 58
The Red Devils led from wire-to-wire but were unable to deliver the knockout blow.
Hall scored the game’s first six points and took leads of 22-8, 29-10 and 35-19 as it built a 44-28 lead with 4:36 left in the third quarter.
However, the Chargers — who were playing without starters Ricky Carter and Brandon Stapleton — slowly chipped away at the deficit and pulled to single digits with five minutes left in the game.
Peoria Christian crept to within six on four separate occasions, including 56-50 with 1:42 to go.
Hall senior guard Brett Fanning did his best to keep the Chargers at bay as he hit a basket to increase the Hall lead to 58-50 and later sank two free throws to push the advantage to 60-52.
However, Peoria Christian’s Dakota Bennington drained a 3-point shot with 1:10 remaining to pull the Chargers to 60-55.
Hall went 5-for-8 from the line down the stretch to seal the win.
“It was a great team win,” Hall coach Mike Filippini said. “We keep saying that our record (6-14) is nothing to write home about, but we’ve played a lot of close games. … One of the great qualities we have is our kids never give up. They play their butts off for the whole game. We had a couple of mental mistakes at the end by taking some bad shots, but we overcame it.”
Hall forced the issue as it attacked the basket. It showed as the Red Devils finished 21-for-28 at the foul line and was just 2-for-8 beyond the 3-point line.
By contrast, the Chargers were 2-for-3 from the foul line and 8-for-27 beyond the 3-point line.
Fanning scored a game-high 25 points to go with seven rebounds for Hall, while Matt Boucher added 11 points and nine rebounds.
With the win, Hall will play tonight for a berth to the finals after it placed third last year in its first year in the TCC Tournament.
The Red Devils have not played Roanoke-Benson this season.
“They have a 6-foot-5 post player who is going to give us fits inside,” Filippini said. “We don’t have a whole lot of size, and they have a lot of good athletes on the outside. We’re going to have our work cutout for us, but our kids seem to do their best work when it seems like we may not win.”
Woodland 65, Marquette 62 (OT)
Down by three points with less than 13 seconds to go in overtime, Marquette’s Curtiss Johnson missed a game-tying 3-point shot.
Woodland’s Alex Erschen grabbed the rebound, was fouled and drained two free throws with 4.2 seconds remaining before the Warriors allowed the Crusaders to lay-in the final shot uncontested.
Marquette struggled from the start but so did Woodland, which started the game 0-for-16 and did not make a field goal until 2:23 left in the first quarter.
However, Woodland took a lead at half before the Crusaders outscored the Warriors 20-10 in the third quarter to take a 41-33 lead after three quarters.
Marquette maintained the lead into the fourth quarter and held a 46-39 cushion with 5:30 left in regulation.
However, Woodland went on an 8-0 run to take a 47-46 advantage.
The Warriors increased the cushion to 54-50 before Marquette called a timeout with 37.1 seconds to go.
Marquette’s Michael Sypniewski converted a basket, and after a Crusader defensive stop, was fouled with 3.7 seconds remaining. The sophomore point guard made both free throws to tie the game at 54-54.
“He’s one of our better foul shooters,” Marquette coach Mike McDonald said. “He made some clutch free throws to get us into overtime and get us some new life.”
Woodland’s Alex Miller missed the game-winning shot at the buzzer to send the game into overtime.
In the extra session, Woodland used a 5-0 run to take a 63-57 lead with 1:02 to go, but once again Marquette crept back into the game.
Three free throws by Sypniewski pulled the Crusaders to 63-60 with 24.2 seconds remaining, and a Marquette steal on defense gave it possession with less than 20 seconds to go.
After a loose ball scramble resulted in Marquette getting a jump ball, the Crusaders had one last chance to win, but Johnson’s game-tying 3-pointer missed with Erschen grabbing the rebound and draining two free throws.
“We had a couple of good looks to start (overtime) and then a couple of turnovers,” McDonald said. “They put the ball in the basket and we just couldn’t get any to fall.”
Johnson had a game-high 19 points for Marquette, while Sypniewski added 16 points and Elliot Kowalski contributed 12 points and nine rebounds.
Jared Bell can be reached at 220-6938, or at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @NT_SportsJared.