Conference standings wouldn't change. Playoff seeds were settled a week ago. Still, Saturday's boys basketball game between Montini and Marmion meant something to each.
"Last year they came in here and beat us in our house," said Marmion senior guard Pete Stefanski. "We wanted to make sure that didn't happen again."
It didn't. Marmion won the Suburban Christian Conference crossover 63-55 in Aurora. Stefanski scored 18 points, nailing four 3-pointers, and Alex Theisen and Ryan Glasgow each added 15 points.
Marmion (14-12) outlasted a career-best 27 points by Montini's Tyshawn Johnson, and 15 points from Rich Bodee. Post Matt Brachmann scored 6 before fouling out with 2:17 to play.
What Stefanski spoke of was Montini's sole SCC Blue victory last season. Since shifting to the SCC Gold, vastly improved Montini (14-8) sought to represent.
"For us to get that win, that would have been big in our season," Johnson said. "I know it's not a conference game or anything, but we've been playing hard this season and it's always good to win."
The first half was up for grabs, seven lead changes and three ties before a Glasgow drive gave Marmion a 22-21 halftime lead. The 6-foot-4, 270-pounder missed Friday's loss to Glenbard South because of a University of Michigan football visit.
"Everyone's really tight and everyone is really good friends on the team, so getting back into the flow of things isn't very difficult if you miss a couple days," Glasgow said. Glasgow's combination of size and agility factored in Montini's 18-of-48 shooting, Montini coach Brian Opoka thought.
"Tonight for us to be successful, we need to finish shots that we take within 5 feet to 8 feet of the basket," Opoka said. "Post touches, jumpers, layups and stuff like that. Glasgow is a big, wide body in the paint, and he affected a lot of our shooting percentages."
On the other hand, Stefanski, Colin Kavanaugh, Jeff Garofalo and Theisen, off the bench, combined to go 7 of 12 in the third quarter to help the Cadets go up 45-36.
Johnson assumed Montini's comeback bid. He hit 2 free throws to pull within 51-49 with 3:37 to play. Glasgow answered with 2 fouls shots, Theisen another and Glasgow put back his own missed free throw to send the lead back to 56-49 with 2:17 to play.
Johnson made 2 more free throws, hit a runner and went coast-to-coast for a layup to get Montini within 60-55 with 31.7 seconds left, but Glasgow and Theisen clinched it from the foul line.
Marmion coach Ryan Paradise liked the Cadets' perseverance, he said, and the perimeter defense on Bodee.
"I thought Johnny Peters did a great job on 23 as well as Alex Theisen in the second half. I thought that was the difference," Paradise said.
West Aurora 57, West Chicago 42: The Blackhawks (21-4, 11-2) shook off a slow start when they fell behind 11-0 to maintain their share of the DVC lead.
Jontrel Walker led West Aurora with 14 points. Joshua McAuley added 10 points, Jayquan Lee 9 points and Juwan Starks 9 points just the third game Starks hasn't hit double figures.