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Sycamore splits first two games at Marengo tournament

MARENGO – The Sycamore boys basketball team found itself on both sides of fourth-quarter comebacks on Saturday at the 63rd annual E.C. Nichols Tournament at Marengo High School.

The Spartans were able to close out the first of their two games at the tournament defeating Wauconda, 46-44, by scoring 13 points in the fourth quarter after trailing by three to start the quarter.

Riding high on the momentum from the win, the Spartans got out to a 16-point lead heading into the fourth quarter only to watch it evaporate before their eyes.

"[Woodstock] really picked it up in that final quarter," Sycamore coach Andrew Stacy said after the 66-62 loss to Woodstock. "We made some uncharacteristic mistakes on our end and you just can't have that."

The Blue Streaks scored 24 points to the Spartans eight in the final quarter, tied the game, 52-52, with 1.6 seconds to play and forced the game into overtime when Blue Streaks guard Keeondae Benjamin cut through the lane for a layup.

Sycamore tried to slow the game down at times but the Spartans couldn't stop Woodstock's Jordan Turner.

"We just kept trying to get it out of his hands," Stacy said of Turner who scored a game-high 31 points, 14 of which came in the fourth. "He is a real good shooter and he can get to spots on the floor quickly and we just couldn't limit that when we needed to."

Turner connected on three 3-pointers in the final few minutes and teammate Brad Kaufmann made two of his own which drew life into the once-quiet crowd.

"I have to give credit to Sycamore," Blue Streaks coach Al Baker said. "They really put it to us in the beginning and I was impressed with how they came out after a big win earlier. Sometimes teams come out flat after a win, but they started quick

"We tried to press them defensively but they kept beating it so we stopped playing and they were able to make their shots. But in the fourth and down by 16, we had to go back to the press and it worked then."

Sycamore's Devin Mottet scored a team-high 19 points and carried the team during the first three quarters, connecting on three 3-pointers in the second quarter when the Spartans were starting to create their big lead.

"We just really fell apart," said Spartans Scott Nelson who scored 11 points. "We started out strong but I don't know what happened at the end but I know we can learn from it and bounce back."

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