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Boys Basketball: Marian Catholic gets past Crete-Monee

Updated: April 4, 2013 6:27AM



Courtesy of Crete-Monee’s zone defense, Marian Catholic’s Tyler Ulis had an out of sorts first three quarters Friday night.

So when the Warriors came out with a man-to-man defense to start the fourth, Ulis’ eyes lit up.

“I was kind of quiet with them running zone,” Ulis said. “When the fourth came, they came out in man, and I knew it was time to attack.”

Ulis wasted little time putting Crete-Monee on its heels, scoring the host Spartans’ first nine points in the fourth and assisting on two more baskets as Marian pulled away for good in a 54-37 Class 4A regional title game, Marian’s first regional crown since the 2008-09 season.

The Spartans (27-3) will face Joliet West on Tuesday in a Thornton Sectional semifinal.

Ulis finished with 20 points, 11 in the fourth quarter, for Marian Catholic. Terrone Parham (9 points) and Joshua Cohn (8) also contributed for the Spartans.

Mark Conner and Laquon Treadwell each had 11 points for Crete-Monee (19-9).

With Marian holding a 33-27 lead, Ulis sank four free throws in the first minute of the fourth. When Crete-Monee got to within 37-31, Ulis hit two more from the charity stripe and scored his first basket of the quarter on a fast-break layup off a steal at halfcourt.

“In those key moments, you just need to knock down those free throws,” Ulis said. “Relax, zone in and don’t let anything around you bother you.”

Ulis found Cohn and Ezra Pointer-James for three-pointers, putting Marian up 50-32 with 2:25 left in the game.

In a low-scoring game thanks to Crete-Monee’s zone, Parham, Ki-Jana Crawford (3 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals) and John Oliver kept the Spartans in the game early.

“We wanted to stay patient,” Crawford said. “We like to run, but we’ve been working at the zone and we’re ready for it.”

Ulis’ fourth-quarter bucket gave him Marian’s single-season scoring record, a mark previously held by Cedrick Middleton (623 points) since the 2002-03 season.

“I didn’t even know it was coming, but it’s a great honor,” Ulis said. “My key right now is to win state.”



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