Boys Basketball: Marian Catholic tops Notre Dame
By Bill Harrison For Sun-Times Media February 15, 2013 9:52PM
Updated: March 18, 2013 6:51AM
One of the keys to beating Marian Catholic is stopping junior guard Tyler Ulis. That hasn’t been an easy task for any team the last few seasons.
As for Notre Dame, the key to stopping the Dons is keeping their best player, Matt Mooney, in check.
Friday night, the Spartans weren’t able to control Mooney and the Dons put the clamps on Ulis, but No. 2 Marian Catholic still found a way to win in a 55-50 East Suburban Catholic Conference victory.
Ulis had just two free throws in the first half and was held to 12 points — 11 below his season average. But he made up for his lack of scoring with 10 assists and got a lot of help from his teammates.
“They played physical, bumped me off screens, double-teamed me off screens,” Ulis said. “Luckily my teammates stepped up and played hard all game. It was an all-around team performance.”
T.J. Parham, who became eligible in late December after transferring from St. Francis de Sales, had 13 points for the Spartans (24-3, 5-2), while Kevin Phillips added 10 off the bench.
Mooney, an Air Force recruit, rallied his team from a 30-25 third-quarter deficit, hitting four three-pointers in the frame — he had five treys on the night — and finished with a game-high 27 points for the Dons (20-5, 5-3). Justin Halloran added 12 points, all on three-pointers.
“They have a good player and we have a good player,” Notre Dame coach Tom Les said. “I think we had a couple of opportunities we didn’t capitalize on. They found a way to win and good teams do that.”
Trailing 44-43 with just under five minutes left in the fourth quarter, the Spartans closed the game with a 12-6 run. Ulis had six points during the run, including 4-for-4 from the free-throw line. Parham’s open layup with 15 seconds left sealed the deal, accounting for the final score.
The Dons led 15-8 in the first quarter before the Spartans went on a 12-0 run for a 22-20 halftime lead.
“Mooney has his game and Tyler can play any game but they did an awesome job on him,” Marian Catholic coach Mike Taylor said. “That was right up there with Bloom; they do a great job on him, too. Tyler played the point guard role and didn’t get overly frustrated.”