Girls Basketball: Marian Catholic tops Lincoln-Way East
By Tim O’Brien For Sun-Times Media November 13, 2012 10:38PM
Lincoln-Way East's Marissa De Groot (left) battles for the ball with Marian Catholic's Dajhae Mullins during their season-opening basketball game in Chicago Heights Tuesday, November 13, 2012. | Brett Roseman~Sun-Times Media
Updated: December 15, 2012 6:21AM
Playing heavy minutes for last season’s 21-win team, Marian Catholic guards Teniya Page and Ashton Millender took their lumps at times.
Leading a deep, talented Spartans squad, Page and Millender scored 19 points apiece Tuesday night in top-ranked Marian’s 70-49 season-opening win over Lincoln-Way East in Chicago Heights.
“I’m very comfortable now compared to last year,” Page said. “I’m familiar with my teammates and familiar with the speed of the game.”
Megan Walsh added eight points and seven rebounds for Marian. Kara Krolicki (12 points), Dana O’Grady (11 points) and Marissa De Groot (8 points, 10 rebounds) led No. 7 Lincoln-Way East (0-1).
It was the Spartans’ young but experienced backcourt that provided the offensive spark in the second quarter after East had come back from a 12-point deficit to within 21-18 after two Meaghan McMahon free throws.
Page, a sophomore, rose for a shot from the top of the key and was fouled. She connected on all three free throws. After two free throws each by Kauai Bradley and O’Grady, things fell into place for the fast-paced Spartans attack.
Page scored on driving bank-in layup. Fouled on the play, she hit the free throw. The next time down the court, Millender scored, was fouled and canned the free throw. An extended 15-4 run put Marian Catholic up 36-22 late in the second.
“It was just a rhythm thing,” Page said. “Our big thing is to always try to get in rhythm offensively. It can be hard to stop.”
East got as close as 38-29 in the third period. The Griffins committed 20 turnovers in the game.
“Our defense was OK, even good, but through the game we got better at it,” Millender said.
Starting two juniors and a freshman with seniors McMahon and Nathalie Hill, East coach Jim Martin knows his team will get better as the season progresses.
“Marian’s athleticism was better than ours,” Martin said. “Their pressure got to us. Everyone asks why we open with Marian. Now these kids know how they have to play. You can’t take this game lightly. You have to get better.”