Basketball

High school boys basketball: Marengo outlasts Belvidere at E.C. Nichols Holiday Classic; Crystal Lake Central advances

Blaine Borhart
Blaine Borhart

MARENGO — Belvidere and Marengo traded big buckets in the final minute of their quarterfinal matchup Wednesday at the E.C. Nichols Holiday Classic, but Marengo guard Aidan Kirchner hit the biggest of them all.

Kirchner knocked in a 3-pointer with 15 seconds on the clock to tie the game and send it to overtime. Marengo won 66-61 in overtime.

“It felt really good because the whole time the team was fighting and we weren’t giving up,” Kirchner said.

After Belvidere traveled on the next possession, Kirchner nearly won the game in regulation on a bank shot from well beyond the arc.

In the extra period, point guard Blaine Borhart nailed a timely 3-pointer and the Indians shot 4 of 6 from the free throw line to seal the victory.

“We got aggressive,” Borhart said of overtime. “We really rebounded well in the overtime. We communicated really well on defense, which really collapsed the middle and made sure they couldn’t get easy layups.”

Borhart finished with a game-high 22 points. Indians' forward Alex Schirmer added 14.

Marengo (7-4) advances to face Harvest Christian in a semifinal at 7:30 p.m. Thursday. Crystal Lake Central defeated Genoa-Kingston, 58-42, and will advance to face Richmond-Burton at 6 p.m. Thursday after the Rockets beat Rochelle.

SECOND QUARTER STRUGGLES

Borhart hit two early 3s, but Belvidere came out shooting 62 percent from the field in the first quarter. The Bucks stretched their lead to as much as seven in the second quarter.

Marengo responded by going to big man Alejandro Rodriguez inside. He scored 10 of his 12 points in the second quarter, including 4 of 4 from the free throw line.

“He’s the big guy in the middle,” Borhart said. “We knew if we could get it inside and get him going it would get us all going.”

Marengo rallied to lead by one at halftime. Borhart and Schirmer took control offensively in the second half. Matt Fischer had a key steal in overtime to help secure the victory.

“We needed a game where a team gave us a really good ballgame and we battled and got a win,” Marengo coach Nate Wright said.

The host Indians have not won the E.C. Nichols Tournament since 2014.

CENTRAL CRUISES

Crystal Lake Central (7-4) jumped out to a quick 10-point lead in the first quarter of its win over Genoa-Kingston. The Tigers hit a lull in the second quarter before they ended the half on an 8-1 run.

“There really wasn’t much flow to the game prior to that,” Central coach Rich Czesklawski said. “We started well. Give them credit because that was kind of their game plan: Slow things down and beat us up a little bit. Make it tough for us to get good shots.”

Central had no problems holding on in the second half. Alex Timmerman scored 19 points and grabbed 10 rebounds. Evan Cassell scored 14 points.

“We were just trying to push it,” Timmerman said. “They weren’t getting back much. We had the size advantage, we just wanted to get it in on their defense.”

STAR OF THE GAME

Blaine Borhart, Marengo, Sr., G

Borhart scored 22 points for Marengo, including a timely 3-pointer in overtime of the Indians’ quarterfinal win over Belvidere at the E.C. Nichols Holiday Classic.

THE NUMBER

41: Marengo and Belvidere combined for 41 free throw attempts. The Indians were in the bonus with two minutes remaining in the third quarter.

AND ANOTHER THING …

Marengo held Belvidere to 1-of-4 shooting in the overtime period.

Marengo 66, Belvidere 61, OT

Belvidere 21 8 18 12 2 — 61

Marengo 16 14 13 16 7 — 66

BELVIDERE (61): Valladares 5 0-0 14, Kolk 7 4-9 20, Tobler 2 0-0 5, Murray 1 0-0 2, Dalipi 5 1-2 12, King 2 2-2 6, Hausen 0 0-0 0, C. Taylor 0 0-0 0, K. Taylor 1 0-0 3. Totals: 23 6-13 61.

3-point goals: 8 (Valladares 3, Kolk 2, Tobler 1, Dalipi 1, K. Taylor 1).

MARENGO (66): Schirmer 5 4-8 14, Borhart 6 4-6 22, Fischer 2 0-0 4, Kirchner 2 0-0 5, Rodriguez 4 4-4 12, Wascher 0 1-2 1, Bertrand 1 6-8 8. Totals: 20 19-28 66.

3-point goals: 5 (Borhart 4, Kirchner 1).

Crystal Lake Central 58, Genoa-Kingston 42

Crystal Lake Central 14 15 21 8 — 58

Genoa-Kingston 4 11 6 21 — 42

CL CENTRAL (58): Welder 0 0-0 0, Dungey 3 0-2 7, Cassell 6 1-1 14, Lerum 1 0-0 3, Timmerman 8 3-4 19, Haviland 2 0-1 5, Keenan 1 0-0 2, Seegers 0 0-0 0, Pinn 1 0-0 3, Williams, 0 0-0 0, Vesely 0 0-0 0, Buchta 1 0-0 2, Revnew 1 0-0 3. Totals: 24 4-8 58.

3-point goals: 5 (Cassell 1, Lerum 1, Haviland 1, Pinn 1, Revnew 1).

GENOA-KINGSTON (42): Marth 0 0-0 0, Trzynka 1 6-7 8, Hansen 4 8-11 17, Nesler 3 3-6 10, Fugate 0 0-0 0, Peters 1 1-2 3, Zweifel 0 2-2 2, Hansen 0 0-0 0, Winker 0 0-0 0, Garcia 1 0-0 2. Totals: 10 20-28 42.

3-point goals: 2 (Hansen 1, Nesler 1).

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