- Associated Press - Saturday, March 11, 2017

PEORIA, Ill. (AP) - Chicago Orr seemed to be everywhere during Saturday night’s IHSA Class 2A boys basketball title game. The Spartans were there when Mt. Carmel passed the ball. They were there when the Golden Aces shot the ball. They were even there when Mt. Carmel made shots, responding nearly every time as the Spartans rang up a decisive 59-39 win for the school’s first championship in boys basketball.

The Spartans (23-5) used their length and quickness to frustrate Mt. Carmel all night, creating 13 turnovers, blocking four shots and disrupting the Golden Aces offense constantly. Orr quickly built a double-digit lead in the first quarter and was rarely challenged after.

“One thing we have thrived on all year is our pressure defense,” Orr coach Louis Adams said. “They have bigs that we were concerned with but we have seen bigs this year. We were able to handle them. Tonight wasn’t different.”

Mt. Carmel did make a bit of a run late. Trailing by 14 midway through the third quarter the Golden Aces hit their first 3-pointer of the game (after being 0-9 at that point). They hit another a minute later and Jackson Marcotte converted a conventional three-point play to cut the lead to nine. That was as close as they’d get.

Mt. Carmel coach Tyler Buss was satisfied for the most part with his team’s play. It just wasn’t enough to overcome the Spartans.

“I thought the pace of the game was good in the first quarter. We just didn’t finish,” Buss said. “We had a couple of stretches like that and that is too many against a team like Orr.”

Marcotte finished with 17 points, Austin Rager grabbed 11 rebounds and Justin Carpenter had eight points and nine rebounds for Mt. Carmel.

Smith added seven assists to his scoring line for the Spartans.



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