In their 57-43 win over Forreston that was closer than the score indicated, everyone got into the act for the Polo Marcos on Saturday.
That was best seen with the game tied 28-28 midway through the third quarter. Reid Taylor tipped a ball away near the sideline and made a behind-the-back save to Trevin Woodin. Woodin then alertly found a streaking Brady Webb heading for the basket.
Even with a Forreston defender on him, Webb made an acrobatic layup, and the Marcos never trailed the rest of the game.
“To have that kind of chemistry says a lot about our team,” Taylor said. “We needed a bounce-back win after Thursday [a loss to Milledgeville].”
Taylor came right back and added another basket, followed by buckets from Webb and Braiden Soltow, and Polo went into the final quarter up 36-30. Meanwhile, Forreston, which led 25-21 at half, could only manage a pair of scores.
“We have to make more shots in the third quarter,” Forreston coach Jonathan Schneiderman said. “They got runs out of steals, especially No. 4 [Webb].”
With Forreston daring Dakota Meyer to shoot from beyond the arc, the Marco reserve nailed a 3-pointer from the top of the key to open the fourth quarter as Polo increased its lead to 39-30.
“That was the shot that forced them to play catch-up,” Polo coach Matt Messer said.
The Marcos were also aided by a fourth-quarter technical foul on Jaron Groshans, flipping the possession around. In quick succession, it was Soltow with a free throw off the T, Woodin with a 3-pointer and then three free throws, and Taylor with a three-point play off a steal to make it 52-38.
“After all the effort we expended against Milledgeville, we did a good job of fighting back,” Messer said. “In the second half, we attacked the lane, and it opened up the 3-point shot.”
Early on, it was Forreston’s Brandon Schneiderman and Polo’s Lane Hopkins lighting things up inside, as Polo took a narrow 11-8 lead. In the second quarter, Forreston tied the game 13-13 on an alert inbounds pass from Groshans to Schneiderman.
Later, Hunter Rogers keyed a 12-2 Cardinal run with a 3-pointer and nifty assist to Sam Barkalow inside. Braedon Fyock added five points in that stretch, along with a pair of steals.
Woodin, who was held in check early on by Fyock (15 points), finished with 16 points to share game-high honors with Schneiderman. For the second game in a row, Hopkins, who is filling in for the injured Justin Young, had 12 points.
“The biggest difference between the two is the way Justin runs the floor,” Messer said.
Soltow and Webb added 12 and nine points. Polo plays Amboy next week with the chance to win its 20th game for the sixth straight year, tying the Eastland girls for tops in the Sauk Valley area.