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Boys Basketball: St. Viator stops Marian Catholic

Updated: February 28, 2013 6:42AM



On Wednesday, St. Viator coach Mike Howland pulled guard Kevin Hammarlund aside and delivered him some news: In the Lions’ next game, Hammarlund would be given perhaps the toughest task in the state — to stick with Marian Catholic guard Tyler Ulis.

Hammarlund — known to his teammates as “The Hammer” — nodded, acknowledging the challenge in front of him but unsure how he was going to complete it.

On Friday night, “The Hammer” was tough as nails, helping the host Lions to a hard-fought 66-61 upset of the No. 2 Spartans.

The win put St. Viator (14-4, 4-1) in sole possession of second place in the East Suburban Catholic Conference. Marian Catholic fell to 20-3, 3-2.

“After the last two years of playing him, I know Ulis is an amazing basketball player,” Hammarlund said. “Our goal this time was we knew he was going to score his, but to hold him to under 30 and not let any other guys on the team go off. It was a very good team defensive effort.”

Though Ulis did score 30 points, only one other player in the Marian Catholic lineup scored more than six. That allowed Howland to support his top defender with double-teams and trapping zones, keeping the ball out of Ulis’ hands as much as possible.

“I thought our defensive strategy worked out great,” Howland said. “That is one of, if not the best, player in the state that we just played against. I went with ‘Hammer’ because I know he’s going to work his tail off. I don’t care how small or big the guy he’s facing is, he’s the guy I go with. And he delivered.”

St. Viator’s Ore Arogundade nearly matched Ulis bucket for bucket, finishing with 27 points to go along with six rebounds. Nineteen of Arogundade’s points came in the second half, as did 13 of Hammarlund’s 15 points.



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