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CSC Men’s Basketball Coach, Ryan Twaddle
GALESBURG — The Carl Sandburg College men’s basketball team rode a stellar defensive effort Thursday night to its ninth consecutive victory as it beat Bryant & Stratton 68-52 at John M. Lewis Gymnasium in the quarterfinals of the Region IV District 4 tournament.
The fourth-seeded Chargers (23-8) advance to face top-seeded Morton, a 75-65 winner Thursday over No. 8 seed Kishwaukee, at 4 p.m. Sunday in the semifinals on the campus of Waubonsee Community College. Sunday’s game will be streamed live at www.gochiefs.com/RegionIV.
Sandburg held No. 5 seed Bryant & Stratton to its lowest point total of the season, limiting the Bobcats to 36 percent (21 of 59) shooting from the field and just 2 of 16 from 3-point range. The victory also avenged an overtime setback at home to the Bobcats (15-15) in December that was the Chargers’ final loss prior to their current 13-1 run in the last 14 games.
The Chargers hit on 48 percent (26 of 54) of their shots, with second-team all-region picks Matt Wendling (Athens, Ill./Athens) and Kourtlandt Martin (Evansville, Ind./Central) leading the way with 19 points apiece. Wendling hit 7 of 11 from the floor, including 3 of 7 beyond the arc, and added five rebounds. Martin turned in yet another exceptional all-around effort, adding a game-high five assists and picking up two steals.
Sandburg also got a double-double from freshman forward Deandrey Robinson (Peoria, Ill./Peoria) for the second straight game as he scored 15 on 7-of-11 shooting and pulled in a game-high 10 rebounds.
A three-point play from Wendling capped a 9-0 run that gave the Chargers a 17-8 lead midway through the first half, and Sandburg took a 30-21 edge into intermission.
The Bobcats clawed within 43-37 with 11:00 to go before Martin rattled off seven straight points over the next 2 minutes on a pair of free throws, a 3-pointer off a feed from freshman Ben Stipp (Abingdon, Ill./Abingdon-Avon) and a drive down the right wing. Bryant & Stratton never got within less than nine points the rest of the way.
Lewrenzo Byers was the only Bobcats player in double figures, scoring 14 points on 6-of-20 shooting.
“It wasn’t our prettiest game of the season, but that doesn’t matter much at this time of year,” Chargers coach Ryan Twaddle said. “Our defense was solid all night, and we made enough plays on the offensive end at key moments to give us some cushion. We’ll have a tough test ahead of us Sunday, but we’re looking forward to the opportunity.”