Stingy defense sends Rock Island to 3A Final

Stingy defense sends Rock Island to 3A Final
March 19, 2011, 3:31 am
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Friday, March 18, 2011
Posted: 10:28 p.m.
By Michael O'Brien
YourSeason.com

PEORIA Every time Brooks guards George Marshall and Mike Powell elevated for jump shots on Friday they looked confident and poised, and for good reason all season long the vast majority of those jumpers had gone in. Not this time. Marshall and Powell were absolutely broke for four quarters as the Eagles fell to Rock Island 55-36 in the Class 3A state semifinals at Carver Arena.It was the worst shooting game we had all year, Brooks coach Bobby Locke said. I think we were awestruck that the ball wasnt going in the hole. I think it carried over to our defense.Brooks shot 13-for-50 from the field. Marshall shot 1-for-12, he missed the first 11 shots. His first basket was a three-pointer with five seconds left in the game. Powell was 1-for-14, he made a layup in the third quarter.The Eagles were not on the court warming up for the usual 15 minutes before tip-off. There was a snafu with the clock in the locker room.We didnt have time to warm up, Powell said. We ended up going out with like eight minutes left. When the game started I tried to get warm out there but it wouldnt go for me.Brooks managed only one free throw in the first quarter and trailed 12-1. Keith Gray (12 points, 12 rebounds) turned things on in the second quarter but the Eagles trailed 23-11 a the half.In a nutshell, the first quarter killed us, Locke said. We couldnt overcome that.The Eagles did hold Stanford recruit Chasson Randle in check. He shot 5-for-15 from the field and finished with 12 points and seven rebounds. Rocks guard Devon Jones didnt score, but he guarded Marshall for the majority of the game.Jones had a huge hand in us winning this, Rock Island coach Thom Sigel said. He shut down George Marshall.Marshall finished with five points and Powell had three. Justin Raabcontributed nine points and Kevin Gray had seven points and five rebounds for Brooks (28-4).I dont know that we even hoped we would contain Marshall and Powell like that, Sigel said.Denzel McCauley, a 6-8 junior, led Rock Island (29-3) with 14 points and nine rebounds. Romal Davis scored nine and Keith Keesy added eight points and six reboundswhile playing with a broken nose.Im proud of the fact that we put it together and got here, Locke said. We bonded really quickly and I hate that it ended so fast.Rock Island will play the winner of the North Chicago vs. Centraliasemifinal for the class 3A state championship Saturday at 2 p.m.It means the world, Randle said. This is amazing just to be sitting here talking about playing in the championship game.