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Spartans (25-5) State-Bound On Three By Tidwell To Stun Metamora In OT

Josh Smith, Marian Catholic, men's basketball, IHSA
Spartan Josh Smith defends on Tuesday night during action against Metamora at the NIU IHSA 3A Supersectional. (PHOTO SUPPLIED)

DeKalb, IL-(ENEWSPF)- It was a shot every basketball player dreams of: sink a bucket at the buzzer to win your team the game. This one wins Marian Catholic a bid at State. Tuesday evening, Malik Tidwell buried a three as the buzzer sounded Tuesday, sending Marian Catholic to its first IHSA State Tournament berth with a 49-46 overtime decision over Metamora at the NIU IHSA Class 3A Supersectional.

The Spartans (25-5), winners of 11 of 12, will play a Friday state semifinal contest on Friday in Peoria at 11:15 a.m.

Marian overcame a nine-point fourth-quarter deficit to force OT, as Alec Dinwiddie tallied on a tip-in with 38 seconds left.

Great balance saw Tidwell, Ahron Ulis (five assists, two steals) and Josh Smith (3-for-4 from the arc) score 11 points each. Leading scorer Tidwell struggled with a 3-for-15 night from the field, but hit the biggest shot of the contest when it counted. Tidwell and Ulis had Marian’s other two overtime buckets.

Dinwiddie grabbed 13 rebounds and Chris White seven, while each clicked for eight points. The duo helped Marian to an 18-5 advantage on the offensive boards.

The Spartans improved to 1-2 in Elite Eight contests, with each of the last two going overtime.

Game Stats

MARCH 13- MARIAN CATHOLIC 49, METAMORA 46 (OT)

MARIAN- Tidwell (3)-3-11, Smith (4)-0-11, White 4-0-8, Dinwiddie 4-0-8, Ulis (4)-2-11, Green 0-0-0, T. Jones 0-0-0. Totals: 19-5-49.

METAMORA- Havens (3)-1-8, Buis (2)-0-6, Hall (5)-6-18, Dietz 2-3-7, Bachman 2-1-5, Mervis 0-0-0, Mann 0-0-0, Nelan 1-0-2. Totals: 15-11-46.

Field goals: Marian 19 of 55, .345; Metamora 15 of 33, .455. Free throws: Marian 5 of 7, .714; Metamora 11 of 13, .846. Three-point goals: Marian 6 of 15, .400 (Smith 3, Tidwell 2, Ulis); Metamora 5 of 11, .455 (Buis 2, Hall 2, Havens). Fouls: Marian 14, Metamora 7. Rebounds: Marian 33, Metamora 25. Turnovers: Marian 6, Metamora 11.

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