BENTON -- Two weekend games resulted in a pair of losses for the Marion High School boys basketball team.
On Friday, the Wildcats suffered a heartbreaking 42-39 loss at Cahokia when Elijah Rice hit a stepback 3-pointer from the top of the key at the buzzer.
Then on Saturday, Marion took on Mt. Carmel in the Rich Herrin Classic, a shootout event at Benton High School, and were thumped 60-42 by the Golden Aces.
Marion is now 15-9 overall this season with a 2-5 record in the South Seven Conference.
Cahokia (11-10) scored the first points of Friday's game but the Wildcats answered with a 15-0 run that extended into the second period.
Jaden Lacy started the run with a 3-pointer and had nine points in the opening minutes. Lacy had 13 points before halftime, which ended with a triple by Cole Schafer that gave the Wildcats a 26-15 lead at the break.
Cahokia chipped away and whittled Marion's lead down to four points by the end of the third quarter.
Marion led 39-36 with 1:30 left after a pair of free throws by Justin Saddoris, but the Comanches tied the game at 39 with 21 seconds left.
Saddoris was fouled again at the 17-second mark but missed the front end of a 1-and-1. Cahokia called timeout with eight seconds left and Rice hit the game-winner with Lacy's hand in his face at the buzzer.
"The kid hit a tough shot," Marion coach Gus Gillespie said on his postgame radio show. "It was contested. Lacy was all over him. These are tough ones because we played hard and played well."
Marion was 7 of 14 from the foul line in the loss.
"That's not going to get it done," Gillespie said. "That's huge."
Rice and Lacy shared game-high honors with 15 points apiece. Saddoris had 11, but Marion's next high total was four points, shared by Terrell Henderson and Jackson Connor. Schafer had three and Boston Ziegler scored two points.
Unlike the previous weekend, Saturday's followup game wasn't a bounceback for the Wildcats.
Mt. Carmel (14-11) led 12-7 after the first quarter, 27-15 at the half and 43-29 going into the fourth period. And the Wildcats had a 9-0 run in the third quarter.
Austin Rager scored 23 points to lead the Golden Aces, with at least six points in each of the final three quarters. Bret Doan added 12 points and Brayden Stipp had 10.
Saddoris was Marion's lone offensive bright spot with 18 points, including a pair of 3-pointers. Henderson was next with eight points. Lacy had four and both Connor and Mitchell Jackson had three. David Fletcher and Schafer had two each and Frankie Horner hit a free throw. Jackson also received a technical foul.
Marion has a busy week ahead with a road game at Murphysboro on Tuesday followed by home games against Belleville Althoff and Meridian this coming weekend.