Girls Basketball: Marian Catholic overruns Bloom
By Tony Baranek firstname.lastname@example.org February 19, 2013 8:58PM
Ashton Millender, of Marian Catholic, goes in for the basket against Bloom. | Gary Middendorf~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: March 21, 2013 6:34AM
The explosive offense eventually showed up, but it was defense that really got the ball rolling for Marian Catholic in its 57-35 victory Tuesday over Bloom in the first Class 4A Mother McAuley Sectional semifinals.
The No. 1 Spartans held Bloom to single digits in each of the first two quarters and used a late second-period outburst to build a 16-point lead at intermission.
The Battle of Chicago Heights pretty much was on its way to being over.
Teniya Page led the way for Marian Catholic (29-1) with 16 points. Briana Narcissi added 12 points, Melanie Ransom nine points and Kauai Bradley (7 rebounds) and Ashton Millender eight points each. Bloom (21-7) was led by Danielle King (14 points).
The Spartans’ man-to-man defense was more or less suffocating. Bloom had two first-half three-pointers by Mariah Middleton, but many drives to the bucket ended in missed layups or turnovers.
“We were working on (stopping) guard penetration all week,” Spartans forward Megan Walsh said. “Our guards really stepped up. They knew what they were doing.”
Walsh, meanwhile, shut down Bloom scoring machine Bria Gaines. Gaines had 11 rebounds, but took just five shots and finished with six points.
“Bria is a great player,” Walsh said. “She’s strong. I was fortunate to have Kauai (Bradley) on the back side to help out on her.”
The underdog Blazing Trojans led just twice, at 2-1 and 5-3. It was 9-8 Marian late in the first period when Page ripped through the lane for a three-point play, sparking an 11-0 run that bled over into the second quarter and was bookended by a three-pointer by Narcissi.
Bloom would get back within 22-15 after a three by Middleton, but the Spartans found a burst of energy just before intermission when Bradley drove the lane for a bucket, Page turned another three-point play and Narcissi went the length of the court for a bucket to make it 31-15.