There were plenty of twist and turns in Tuesday’s drama-filled Class 3A Woodstock Regional semifinal game between fourth-seeded Marian Central and second-seeded Hampshire.
However, the final act belonged all to the Hurricanes, who rallied from behind to knock off the Whip-Purs 62-61. Marian Central advances to play top-seeded Marengo in Friday’s regional title game.
The Hurricanes (17-15) trailed 47-43 heading into the fourth quarter, but went on a 10-0 run to surge ahead 53-47. Hampshire (13-15) got back to within 57-56, but the Hurricanes held on.
JJ Lindquist came off the bench to give Marian Central a big lift in the fourth quarter with seven points. Lindquist had two huge put-backs, including one that put the Hurricanes on top for good at 49-47 with 6:20 left to play.
“The game is all about all about runs and we were able to get on one at the start of the fourth quarter,” Marian Central coach Curtis Price said. “We talked about coming out with a lot more intensity in that final quarter.
“I thought JJ had an outstanding game. He really gave us a spark with some big rebounds and baskets inside.”
Derreck Caldez had 11 points, including three three-pointers, for the Hurricanes. But even more significantly, he played a major role defensively in shutting down Hampshire standout Ryan Cork, who was held to just seven points.
“Derreck was tremendous for us,” Price said. “We knew Cork likes to go to his left and Derreck did a great job of taking that away from him.”
Wyatt Lindell had 12 points to lead Marian Central in scoring. The Hurricanes knocked down 10-of-14 free throws in the final quarter to seal the win.
The Whip Purs had two chances to tie in the final 30 seconds, but Cork missed a three-pointer and the next trip down the floor, Hampshire turned the ball over.
The Whip-Purs shot just 6-of-23 (27 percent) from the field in the second half.
“We couldn’t hit a darn thing,” Hampshire coach Bob Barnett said. “Give them credit they made the shots when it counted.”