Second-half surge gives Knights the win, Martinek a grand

The Irondale High School boys basketball team overcame a sluggish first half and knocked off Benilde-St. Margaret's 52-46. The Knights scored only 18 points in the first half but picked up the pace after halftime.

Senior Jack Martinek, Irondale's leading scorer at nearly 25 points per game, also had a tough first half, scoring only four points. He recovered nicely in the second and finished with 24 points.

Martinek also became the fourth player in the history of the Irondale boys basketball program to score 1,000 points. Martinek reached the magic number with the first of two free throws with 58.2 seconds left in the game. He entered the contest 19 points of 1,000.

After hitting a pair of layups in the first half, Martinek opened the second with a jumper and a three-pointer to move within 10 points of 1,000. His next five points came at the free-throw line before hitting a pair of layups to put Irondale ahead for good at 46-43.

Irondale trailed by five at halftime but opened the second half on a 6-0 run to take the lead. The Knights eventually bumped the cushion to six points at 36-30 before Benilde rattled off seven straight points.

The lead went back and forth from there until Martinek came up with a pair of baskets to put the Knights in front to stay.

Martinek joins former Knights Bryan Sprang, Danny Peterson and Rod Grosse on Irondale's 1,000-point list.

Joining Martinek in double figures was teammate Ben Ojika, who scored 15. Jonny Nguyen added nine, Connor Hashemi scored three, Jake Damerow hit one bucket for two points and Jordan Boll had a free throw for one point.

Jayson Edwards paced Benilde with 13 points, including four three-pointers. Chris Bell added 10 while Alex Alexander and Matt Lilienthal scored six each and Nick Guggemos came off the bench in the second half to score four.

The victory improves Irondale's record to 8-9 overall. The Knights can get back to .500 for first time since December 11 with a win Friday at home against Fridley.

Comment Here