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Girls Basketball: Marian Catholic steps up to defeat Missouri champ

Updated: February 9, 2013 6:17AM



Marian Catholic coach Annie Byrne asked the organizers of the Prepcasts Elite Shootout in St. Louis to give her Spartans their best possible challenge.

They gave her the defending Class 5 Missouri state champion.

The result? A resounding 54-38 victory over Rock Bridge (Mo.) that improved No. 1 Marian to 15-1 on the season.

“The kids really stepped up for this challenge and were focused,” Byrne said. “They really showed signs of maturity.”

The Spartans, who went 3-1 and finished third at the Montini Holiday Tournament, were led by sophomore Teniya Page (18 points, 5 assists, 3 steals), junior Ashton Millender (16 points), senior Melanie Ransom (11 points) and senior Megan Walsh (10 rebounds).

Tied early at 7, Marian gained control during the second period and led the rest of the way.

Page, averaging 13.5 points and 3.6 steals per game, was instrumental in holding Rock Bridge 6-foot-1 guard Sophie Cunningham to 11 points. Cunningham, as a sophomore, already is committed to Missouri.

“I’m really proud of Teniya,” Byrne said. “I’m on her a lot, and that’s a lot for a sophomore, but she’s shown a lot of maturity and stepped up and performed for us. She makes us better all-around.”

Ready, set ...

Rich South coach Brian Mays is hoping his Stars bounce back strong from what he called a “disappointment” in finishing 2-2 at the Hillcrest Holiday Classic.

“We were looking for nothing less than playing in the championship game,” Mays said. “We did learn a few things with the losses to Hillcrest and Stagg.”

Mays is hoping to implement them Tuesday, when the Stars (13-4, 3-1) face Crete-Monee (16-1, 3-1) in a Southland Conference showdown. The winner would earn a chance at revenge against Bloom (11-4, 4-0).

“We’ll see how they match up against our guards (DeAsia and CiErra Garrett),” Mays said. “We feel we are in the (conference) driver’s seat. A win against Crete could knock them out of the running, then it’ll be us against Bloom, which is the way things have gone for the past few years.”



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