Waterloo gave Marquette all they could handle for three periods, but the Explorers pulled away in the fourth to take their third Columbia-Freeburg Holiday Tourney title in as many years.
The Bulldogs trailed 16-12 after a first period that was dominated by two players: Waterloo’s Ryan Aycock put up 10 points for his team while Marquette’s Deion Lavender scored 14.
“Lavender is a very good player,” Bulldogs coach C.J. Cruser said after the game. “We knew to have a chance we had to find a way to contain him.”
Waterloo stayed close with the Explorers until the final second of the third period, when Lavender hit an amazing 3-pointer at the buzzer to give his team a 7-point lead.
The ‘Dogs tried to get back in the game, but could not catch a break as several shots just would not drop.
This was Waterloo’s first trip to the championship game of the holiday tourney since 1972.
Aycock led the ‘Dogs with 17 points; Zach Schaab added 8 points.
In the third place game, Columbia fell to Freeburg. The Eagles trailed the Midgets 39-25 after three periods, but rallied in the fourth to make a game of it. The Eagles put up 26 points in the final period, but it was not enough as Freeburg went on to win, 59-51.
In Pinckneyville’s Duster Thomas Hoops Classic, Gibault lost to host team Pinckneyville in a tight early game, 56-52, but bounced back to win the third place game over Olney on Saturday night, 53-41.
To view and purchase photos from the tournament, click here.