CARBONDALE • Anything that could go wrong Tuesday for Alton Marquette seemed to in a Class 2A Carbondale Super-Sectional boys basketball game against Mount Carmel.
But coach Steve Medford wasn't ready to hide behind excuses after the Explorers were eliminated with a 61-40 loss to the Golden Aces.
"I feel like a lot of things went wrong," Medford said. "Between the fouls, the technical, Reagan (Snider) getting an ankle sprain, the ball din't go our way. We can reflect on this and that, but they just beat our butt tonight. Bottom line is that they kicked our butts. We did not do a lot of things right. It's unfortunate."
With five minutes left in the second quarter, Marquette's bench was hit with a technical that seemed to stall a run that the Explorers were on to cut into Mount Carmel's lead.
A few minutes later, Snider was pulled from the floor after twisting his ankle and a run that had momentum died.
From there it was all downhill for Marquette (30-4).
"We didn't do a good job," Medford said. "We just didn't have it in the ol' ticker department and that's unfortunate. I told the kids that I never expect them to play perfect, but I expect perfect effort. Tonight, for some reason there were some things that were lacking and maybe that started with me getting the technical and I shouldn't have gotten that."
With Mount Carmel holding a distinct size advantage in the post and with junior Jake Hall getting tagged with his second foul early in the first half, Marquette looked to rely on outside shooting early.
But the Explorers were cold for the majority of the game as they went 6-for-25 from the 3-point line.
Even the open shots weren't falling for Marquette.
"The shots were open, just sometimes you don't hit shots and you've got to hit shots to win," Marquette junior Sammy Green said.
Isaiah Ervin and Snider led the way for Marquette with 11 points each. Green, who leads Marquette in scoring on the year, was held to six points.
From the get go, the Golden Aces were hot from the field and it carried throughout the game.
"Our guys picked a great time to play their best game of the year," Mount Carmel coach Tyler Buss said. "It was a complete game and we got contributions up and down the line up."
Mount Carmel had three players score in double figures and shot 63 percent from the field.
The Golden Ace needed overtime to beat the Explorers earlier this season.
"I wasn't expecting anything close to this," Buss said. "All we've done is play close games lately. We were fully expecting this to go right down to the wire and what a tremendous job this year by Alton Marquette. Coach Medford does a tremendous job and definitely want to congratulate them for getting this far."