Girls Basketball: Marist pulls away from Fenwick
By Tony Baranek email@example.com February 8, 2012 10:40PM
Marist's Asianna Bey shoots over Fenwick's Ashley Schaefer as Marist's Leah Bolton watches. | Judy Fidkowski~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: March 11, 2012 8:39AM
Marist had a definite focus going into Wednesday night’s East Suburban Catholic showdown against host Fenwick.
“This was for the conference championship,” Randyll Butler said. “We didn’t want to share a title with them like in the past.”
Share a title? The RedHawks didn’t even share any points in the fourth quarter of their 73-43 victory in Oak Park.
Blanking the Friars over the final eight minutes put a stunning exclamation point on a perfect run that earned Marist (28-1, 9-0) its first undisputed league title. The RedHawks tied Fenwick for the ESCC crown in 2007-08.
Leah Bolton led the way for the No. 1 RedHawks, scoring 25 points. JeTaun Rouse (13 points, 9 rebounds), Asianna Bey (13 points, 8 rebounds) Claire Ryan (10 points) and Butler (6 points, 7 rebounds) also were key.
Fenwick (20-8, 6-2) was led by Jade Owens (15 points), Meredith Boardman (13) and Marek Burchett (8).
For much of the game, it was a pretty good back-and-forth slugfest between the two ESCC heavyweights.
Marist made the first breakaway attempt in the second period with a run capped by a three-point play by Bolton that made it 32-22. But the RedHawks were far from precise with the ball.
Several throwaways into a pressing Fenwick defense gave the Friars an opportunity to rebound. They converted late in the half on a three-pointer by Burchett and a layup by Owens to cut the gap to five, then got to within one when two more Marist turnovers to start the third quarter resulted in baskets by Owens and Boardman.
Marist coach Mary Pat Connolly made an adjustment.
“We just put our halfcourt press-breaker in,” she said. “Everybody had their specific spots to go to. Once we straightened that out it was a little easier to break their press.”
Ryan had a cluster of three steals for Marist during a 9-2 run that put the RedHawks back up by double digits. It was 55-43 after three.
The No. 1 stunner of the night was yet to come.
The RedHawks, who allowed Fenwick to rebound almost at will underneath the offensive basket for three quarters, slammed the door shut in the fourth. The Friars were one and done or turned the ball over on their first 12 possessions.
“That was something coach Connolly told us at halftime,” Bey said. “We had to pick it up on the defense end and crash the boards hard.”
At the other end, the RedHawks blew the game wide open, scoring on seven of their first eight chances. Bolton’s last basket, making it 59-43, put a capper on one of the biggest nights in her varsity career.
“Thanks to my teammates for getting me the ball when I was open,” she said. “I give all the credit to them.”
Fenwick, which had a 16-year title run in the ESCC ended last year by Marian Catholic, finishes its league season Saturday at home against the Spartans.
“I was very impressed with Marist’s conditioning,” Fenwick coach Dave Power said. “I was very surprised that they could play the whole 32 minutes. They are definitely worthy of a conference championship.”