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The Explorers won a nailbiter over the Bulldogs after a hectic second-half comeback from Marquette.

The teams were tied up at 10-10 after the first quarter, but Waterloo began to pull away, leading 27-21 at half and 35-24 midway through the third quarter.

But the Explorers managed to start closing the 11-point gap, and they did so in a hurry.

After three straight three-pointers, one from Jadan Rochester and two from Braden Kline, as well as a Sean Williams basket, Marquette cut the lead to 39-35 after three quarters.

Williams scored another quick basket to start off the fourth, followed by the teams trading free throws to make it 40-38 Waterloo.

Kline then scored another triple to gain the lead for the first time all game at 41-40. Waterloo regained the lead temporarily with a couple of free throws before Kline went to the rim and scored again.

From there, turnovers and free throws determined the outcome of the game.

Jack Rea had a clutch steal, preventing another lead change, but Marquette couldn’t take it the other way. Rea later went up and snagged a timely offensive rebound, getting fouled in the process.

He took three trips to the line in the final two minutes, converting 5 of 6 attempts. Kline tacked on another free throw to make it 49-46.

“Jack Rea, he’s QB1,” Marquette head coach Cody Best said with a smile about the game’s clutch player.

“He led us there at the end making those free throws. He’s just an athlete, and that’s what we need him to do. He knows his job.”

Rea has been Marquette’s starting quarterback for the past two seasons and now shows his athleticism on the hard court.

After his free throws, with 2.9 seconds left on the clock, Waterloo inbounded the ball, straight to Rochester as the horn blew.

“I don’t think we took the lead until a couple of minutes left in the fourth, but that’s what this group does,” Best said postgame. “They’re all seniors, they know what to do. I told them that all four quarters aren’t going to be pretty, we just need one good one, and lately, it’s been the fourth quarter.”

After scoring just five points in the first half, Kline finished with 21.

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“He’s just one of those kids, you know he’s going to get it going eventually,” Best said about Kline. “He’s going to keep shooting because that’s what great shooters do. I’m never going to tell him to stop.”

Rochester had 10 points and Brody Bechtold had nine. Rea finished with five and Williams had four.

Caleb Yochum and Rodrigo Lopez Tercero each scored 14 for the Bulldogs.


After a 12:30 p.m. start time against Waterloo in their first game of the Columbia Holiday Tournament, the Explorers quickly got back at it against Freeburg around 3:30 p.m.

With only about an hour’s break, the Explorers came back out to the court and beat Freeburg, improving to 12-2 on the season.

Braden Kline didn’t wait around long to start scoring, ending the first quarter with eight points as the Explorers led 15-5.

Marquette led the whole way by scores of 26-19 at half and 40-36 after three.

Kline finished with 24 points while Bordy Bechtold added 20 points. Jaden Rochester added eight points, Sean Williams had five, and Jaylen Cawthorn had three.


In the first game of the Columbia Holiday Tournament, the hosting Eagles defeated the visiting Civic Memorial.

CM broke a long scoring drought midway through the first quarter when Josh Hodge put in the game’s first basket to take a 2-0 lead.

But three straight Columbia baskets quickly turned the game in the hosts’ favor. Columbia led 8-6 after the first quarter.

CM made it a one-point game midway through the second quarter, but Columbia pulled away again and led 29-17 at the half.

Sam Donald led Columbia with 18 points while Brody Landgraf added 15. CM’s leading scorer was Parker Parnell with six points. Adam Ogden and Jack Piening each scored five.

CM finishes up pool play with a doubleheader on Thursday, Dec. 28 against Nelson County, Kentucky and Gibault Catholic.

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