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Boys Basketball: Marian Catholic picks off T.F. South

Marian Catholic's Tyler Ulis (3) shoots floater over Tinley Park's KelvDorsey (3) December 26 2013. | Allen Cunningham/For Sun-Times Media

Marian Catholic's Tyler Ulis (3) shoots a floater over Tinley Park's Kelvin Dorsey (3), December 26, 2013. | Allen Cunningham/For Sun-Times Media

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Updated: January 28, 2014 6:30AM



It isn’t that Marian Catholic can score at prolific levels.

A lot of teams can score almost at will when they put their minds to it.

But the Spartans? It’s that when they want to score, they can do it at breakneck speeds, going from zero to 60 mph in the blink of an eye.

“The main mind-set is to play as fast as possible,” Marian’s K.J. Crawford said. “We play teams that think they can play fast, but in reality, we’re faster. Our goal is to shoot quick, shoot within 25 seconds.”

The Spartans started their title defense in style Thursday at the McDipper Tournament at Rich South, sprinting their way to an 85-52 win over Tinley Park in opening-round play.

Terrone Parham (15 points), Tyler Ulis (13 points, 8 assists, 4 steals), Crawford (12 points, 4 steals) and John Oliver (10 points) led a balanced attack for Marian Catholic (7-1).

Kelvin Dorsey’s 19 points led Tinley Park (3-6), with Tremayne Hollis contributing 11 points.

Two different runs highlighted Marian’s romp, the first coming in the second quarter. Leading 21-17, the Spartans opened the floodgates on the defensive end.

Ulis kicked things off with a fast-break bucket off a steal, adding a three-point play off a steal on Tinley Park’s next possession, Crawford following with — what else? — a steal and a layup.

When all was said and done, Marian’s 18-2 run gave the Spartans a 39-19 advantage.

“We enjoy playing like this,” Crawford said. “We like getting everyone involved. We get up, score 85 points a game, and we have fun.”

When Tinley Park drew to within 48-35 in the third period, there were the Spartans again defensively. A 16-2 run featured six of the eight baskets coming off steals and shots off fast breaks.

“The coaches always emphasize defense,” Parham said. “Play tough, play as hard as you can, and don’t give a team a chance to get back in the game.”

Marian Catholic forced eight turnovers in the third quarter and finished with 15 steals overall.

“The second half, we just came out dead,” Tinley Park coach D.J. Brown said. “We feed off our energy defensively, and it wasn’t there. Just no resolve in the second half, and a bad third quarter.”



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