PEORIA, Ill. – Brooks senior guard George Marshall was just waiting for his shot to start falling through the net on Friday.
Like any shooter, Marshall has experienced off days in his career, but he also knew if he kept putting shots up some of them would eventually drop. It was always the case.
That was until Friday taught him otherwise.
Marshall and backcourt mate Mike Powell tried couldn’t get their offense going Friday as Rock Island topped the Eagles 55-36 in a Class 3A semifinal at Carver Arena.
Marshall, a Wisconsin recruit, didn’t score his first point until he sank a free throw with 1:18 left in the fourth quarter and didn’t make his first field goal until 25 seconds remained. He finished 1 of 12 from the field for five points.
Powell, who is being recruited by a number of Division I schools, also struggled. He shot 1 of 14 from the floor and scored three points.
Together, they shot 2 of 26 and combined for eight points. They had been averaging just under 36 points a game.
“Really, I’m not sure exactly what it was,” Marshall said. “We had good looks. The concentration was there. There’s no particular reason. I’ve had off games, but as far an entire game like that, no.”
The Eagles shot of 1 of 7 and trailed 12-1 after one quarter. Their second quarter was slightly better, but they still shot just 3 of 21 from the field and went into halftime down 23-11.
“Obviously, the first quarter killed us,” Brooks coach Bobby Locke said. “We couldn’t overcome that.”
Brooks missed its share of open looks, but Rock Island also factored into the Eagles’ woes.
“They’re a great team, average a lot of points, and I’m sure their guys feel like they missed some looks they make most of the year,” Rock Island coach Thom Sigel said. “And it’s probably true, but I think we had a lot to do with that. I thought we had good help, great team defense.”
Rock Island’s star Chasson Randle wasn’t feeling it Friday, either. He shot 5 of 15 from the field and scored 12 points. Randle, who signed with Stanford, was named the state’s Gatorade player of the year earlier in the week.
The lone bright spot for Brooks was the play of senior forward Keith Gray. One of the state’s top uncommitted players, Gray had 12 points and 12 rebounds. His twin brother Kevin Gray had seven points and five rebounds.
Rock Island was led by Denzel McCauley’s 14 points, nine rebounds and three blocks.