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CARBONDALE -- Allen Billinger supplied the offense, and Darius Beane came up huge on defense late in Carbondale’s 53-52 win over Marion in overtime Friday in South Seven Conference boys basketball.

Marion held a 52-51 edge when Billinger drove the lane for a basket with 20 seconds left in overtime. On the other end, Beane blocked Cole Schafer’s jump shot attempt with six seconds to play, and the Terriers escaped with a victory.

“Our kids walked in the locker room, and they’ve got their heads down,” said Carbondale coach Jim Miller. “I’m thinking why do you have your heads down; that’s a great win. They showed poise and confidence at the end.”

The Wildcats led for most of the fourth quarter and still had a four-point advantage with 1:10 to play in regulation. But after baskets from Beane and Billinger, Marion’s Robby Dosier made a free throw to send it to the extra session.

“We put ourselves in a position to win, and that’s all you can ask for against a super talented team,” said Marion coach Shane Hawkins. “I thought for 36 minutes we went and battled one possession at a time. I think we continue to improve, and you can’t fault our effort.”

Carbondale held a 35-31 edge at the start of the fourth quarter. Marion responded with an 8-0 run. Schafer started the streak with a basket, and R.J. Manfredo finished it with a pair of free throws.

Marion kept the lead for more than five minutes of action, but couldn’t quite hold on in the end.

Billinger led all scorers with 20 points, and Beane added 11. Jordan Kelly and Moe Jackson contributed nine points apiece.

Adam Newman and Manfredo tallied 13 each for Marion, and Justin Shadowens had 11.

“We knew it was going to be a grind because Marion is a well-coached team,” Miller said. “They did a great job of controlling the tempo. Allen Billinger really carried us tonight.”

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Sports reporter

Scott Mees is a sports reporter for The Southern Illinoisan covering prep sports.

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