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BOYS HOOPS: Postseason hopes vanish after road loss to first-place North Marion

PMG PHOTO: DAVID BALL - Corbetts Luke Finn looks to get off a shot during the first quarter of the Cardinals 78-54 loss at North Marion to finish the season Monday night.

Tri-Valley Conference

Team Score
#2 North Marion

AURORA — The Corbett boys basketball team put the first seven points on the scoreboard sounding the upset alert at league-leading North Marion on Monday night. The Huskies responded by reeling off 18 points of their own and carried a double-digit lead most of the way en route to a 78-54 win.

Corbett came out of the gates like a team needing a win to keep its season alive. Joe Fundak hit a 12-footer from the baseline, the Cardinals forced a few early turnovers, and Jake Newton sank a deep 3. Corbett found itself up 7-0 just two minutes into the game.

Then, like a boxer getting a splash in the face with cold water, North Marion woke up and saved its Senior Night. Sergio Jimenez did most of the heavy swinging, chasing down a long rebound and dribbling down the center of the court before swinging the ball out wide to put it off the glass for a three-point play. He drained a 3 on the next trip, and not long after swiped a steal and took it the distance.

North Marion scored the last 18 points of the quarter to go up 11.

Corbett attempted to climb back into contention with Fundak going on a second-quarter scoring flurry. He started with a 3 from the top of the arc, then hit a fadeaway from the elbow and finished with another deep ball.

But North Marion's Payton Meyers had heated up on the other end of the floor, as well, draining a trio of 3-pointers that kept the margin at 11 points heading into halftime.

PMG PHOTO: DAVID BALL - Corbetts Lane Fort drives to the basket against Estacadas Sergio Jimenez.

Corbett mustered one more rally to start the second half with Luke Finn spinning to the hoop for a bucket on the team's first possession, and Newton following with a kick-out 3. Next up, Corbett center Mason Wright drew a charge at the defensive end, and Fundak sank a baseline jumper to convert the turnover into points.

The Cardinals were within 44-36 early in the third quarter.

That was as close as they would get.

Jimenez came up with a three-point play, and teammate Hunter Wierstra hit a deep ball to put the Huskies in command 59-42 in the opening minute of the fourth quarter.

At the end of the night, Corbett (10-12) remained stagnant at No. 24 in the state rankings, leaving them four spots out of one of the 4A play-in qualifier spots.

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This story is scheduled for our Friday, Feb. 28, print edition.

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