Boys Basketball: Marian Catholic tops Bloom 79-73 for Classic title
By Steve Millar For Sun-Times Media November 29, 2013 8:54PM
Tyler Ulis, of Marian Catholic, brings the ball up court against Bloom for the Chicago Heights Classic Championship at Marian Catholic, Friday, November 29th, 2013, in Chicago Heights, IL. | Gary Middendorf~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: January 2, 2014 6:38AM
Tyler Ulis knows Marian Catholic needs to get better at putting teams away.
The Spartans let rival Bloom hang around much longer than Ulis would have liked Friday, but down the stretch the Kentucky-bound guard made sure his team wouldn’t let its first Chicago Heights Classic title slip away.
Ulis, who poured in 35 points, went 10-of-12 from the free-throw line in the fourth quarter and dished to teammates for two late layups that sealed a 79-73 win at Marian.
“It’s great to win this tournament,” Ulis said, “but we didn’t play good. This is the first time we’ve won this tournament, which is great, but we still need to step up. We have to keep fighting. We can’t be content with a lead.”
Marian (4-0), making its first championship-game appearance in the 10-year history of the tournament it co-hosts with Bloom, led 52-34 with 2:47 left in the third quarter, but Bloom (2-2) rallied behind the inside play of Jared Johnson (20 points) and Mickhiell Harris (17 points, 7 rebounds).
Johnson had six points during an 8-2 run that pulled the Blazing Trojans to within 62-59 midway through the fourth quarter.
A three-pointer by Dalvon Echols (8 points) cut the lead to 66-64 with 3:25 to go, but Ulis responded by making five of six free throws.
And in the final 70 seconds, he drove down the lane on consecutive possessions and found Ezra Pointer-Jones (10 points) and T.J. Parham (16 points) for back-to-back layups.
“They had a big man guarding me and I just wanted to get into the lane and get to the free-throw line or make a play,” Ulis said.
Ulis’ teammates showed what they could do in the second quarter. Ulis spent most of it on the bench with two fouls and did not score in the period, but the Spartans outscored Bloom 21-13 nonetheless to take a 39-24 halftime lead.
Chris Austin had all seven of his points in the quarter, Parham had five and John Oliver (9 rebounds) dominated the glass.
“The guys did a good job of getting the lead up to 15, but that’s when we should have put the hammer down instead of letting them back in the game” Marian coach Mike Taylor said.
Zerell Jackson had 14 points and six rebounds, and James Coleman finished with 13 points and seven rebounds for Bloom.
“(Ulis) is just good,” Bloom coach Ron Ashlaw said. “He counters anything you try to do.”
Homewood-Flossmoor 65, Hales 60: Tai Odiase had 19 points and Dorian McCraney and Davon Smith added 15 each as Homewood-Flossmoor (3-1) held off a furious rally by Hales (2-2) to win the third-place game.
Down 50-36 after McCraney scored at the third-quarter buzzer, Hales fought back to within three and had a shot to tie in the final 10 seconds, but Dominic Christian’s trey was off the mark and DeVante Heard hit two free throws to seal it.
E’mon Frison had 14 points and Eddie Miles 12 for Hales.
Thornwood 48, Hillcrest 46: Donte Thomas poured in 20 points to lead Thornwood (2-2) in the fifth-place game. Hillcrest fell to 2-2.
Brooks 64, T.F. South 57: Clifton Lloyd paced Brooks (1-3) with 17 points in the seventh-place game.