MARION – In a 56-55 double overtime win over the Cahokia Comanches, Marion led for just 36.8 seconds. Fortunately for the Wildcats that included the final 29 seconds.
Marion led just twice in the game, and in both instances it was Justin Shadowens that gave them the lead. The junior guard made the winning bucket with 29 seconds left, driving the lane and splitting the Cahokia defense for a lay-up.
“We talked about keep grinding and making plays,” said Marion coach Shane Hawkins. “Go make the next play. I thought our guys for the first time kept playing.”
The Marion defense kept Cahokia on the perimeter on the Comanches' final possession with Marvon Crumble forced to take a 3-pointer with just couple ticks left on the clock.
“They’re not a great shooting team,” Hawkins said. “They hit five 3-pointers the first half. We had to play the percentages. We wanted to take away the dribble-drive.”
Crumble’s shot rolled off the rim and junior Xavier Cambric secured the rebound, giving Marion its third factory in eight games.
Marion picked up the win despite falling behind by five points with 1:51 remaining in the second overtime. The Wildcats also trailed by five in the first overtime.
Cahokia’s Elijah Rice snagged a defensive rebound and bolted up the floor for a run out. He nearly lost the ball near the free throw line, but his awkward shot trickled through the net.
The Comanches appeared to dodge a bullet a few seconds later when Cambric was fouled. He missed both free throws, but sophomore Jaden Lacy grabbed the offensive rebound and scored, cutting the deficit to three points with 1:38 to play.
The Wildcats turned up the pressure, forcing a pair of turnovers in the final moments, resulting in the double-overtime win.
“The more patient we were offensively, the faster they tried to go with it,” Hawkins said. “I think that helped us out.”
In the meantime, Shadowens gave the Wildcats their only other lead of the game when he made a pair of free throws with 7.8 seconds remaining in regulation. Cahokia forced the first overtime when Jackorey Davis scored on a drive to the hoop.
Marion also got some heroics from Adam Newman at the end of the first overtime. Newman’s lay-up with five seconds left tied the game at 49-49.