MORGAN TWP. | Marquette Catholic coach Donovan Garletts knew playing a scrappy team like Washington Township was going to be a huge benefit for the Blazers in their quest for a sectional championship.
That proved to be true Friday night, as the favored Blazers certainly had to work for their 75-62 win over the Senators in a semifinal of the Class A Morgan Township Sectional.
"Washington Township is a good team,” Garletts said. “There’s not a team that we’ve played all year that has played harder than Washington Township for 32 minutes. They did not give up. They kept coming.”
Heading into the fourth quarter up just 50-45, the Blazers (15-6) erupted for a 25-point final period to finally pull away.
At the forefront of that offensive attack was Ryan Fazekas (22 points) and Richard Mitchell (16), and the Senators had trouble containing the duo.
“We were controlling the basketball,” Garletts said of the fourth quarter. “We have the ability to control the basketball anytime we want to. We hit some good shots and we started moving more.”
Alex Lowther led the Senators (16-6) with 16 points.
The Blazers advance to Saturday's 7 p.m. championship and will face 21st Century after the Cougars defeated Kouts 82-71 in the nightcap.
The Cougars (15-5) found themselves down 20-16 going into the second quarter. Then, 21st Century came alive for a 28-point second quarter, running Kouts (16-5) out of the gym in the process.
“We were a little sluggish in that first quarter,” 21st Century coach Rodney Williams said. “I don’t know if it was nerves. Dantrell Hurt picked up two quick fouls, and that took some steam out of us.”
Any steam that 21st Century lost from that was quickly picked back up by Eugene German. The sophomore point guard led the Cougars with 22 points while running an extremely fast-paced offensive attack that saw four players reach double-figures in scoring.
“He’s a seasoned sophomore,” Williams said of German. “He played a good game, and I’m proud of him. He’s come along really well.”
Jake Bekelya led Kouts with 30 points, his third straight game with 30 or more, while Cody Nelson added 25.
“We most definitely are preparing for (Marquette), and I’m sure they’re preparing for us, too,” German said. “We’re looking for the championship.”