Girls Basketball: Oak Lawn getting big-time production
By Tony Baranek firstname.lastname@example.org December 2, 2013 9:46PM
Brianna Markusic, of Oak Lawn | File photo
Updated: January 4, 2014 6:21AM
Oak Lawn has found a new Thanksgiving tournament, and already has made itself right at home.
Brianna Markusic earned MVP honors as the Spartans went 4-0 and won the title at Glenbard East. They’re 5-0 overall, off to a start that has Spartans coach Janet (Haubenreiser) Meyers thinking big.
“I’m excited about this year’s team,” Meyers said. “We have more talented players, experience and speed than we ever had. I never know who is going to step up and be the star of the game for us. We are a very unselfish team.”
Markusic, a 6-foot junior center, was clutch when it counted on a couple of occasions during the tournament.
In a 55-52 win over Glenbard South, she scored 14 of her 20 points in the fourth quarter. In a 60-58 decision over Downers Grove North in the title game she had 26 points, hitting the game-winning shot with 19.3 seconds remaining.
“She isn’t doing anything fancy, just playing tough in the paint,” Meyers said. “She is hanging around the basket pulling down rebounds and putting herself in a good position to score.”
The Spartans also had other standouts in capturing the championship. Jannah Mahmoud double-doubled with 13 points and 14 rebounds while LaTondra Brooks was a triple contributor with 10 points, seven assists and five steals.
Defending Class 4A state champion Marian Catholic hit the road to find some competition over Thanksgiving weekend and came away with a 1-1 record at the Tennessee Turkey Jamm in Murfreesboro, Tenn.
“We felt it was a good experience for us,” first-year Spartans coach Dan Murray said. “We played two very different style of opponents who both were very skilled and talented. It really allowed us an opportunity to evaluate where we are at against some teams who could really push us.”
Marian lost to Oakland (Tenn.) 56-47, although Teniya Page (17 points) and Ashton Millender (15) both had big nights. The game was tied going into the fourth quarter before Oakland pulled away via three three-pointers in succession.
Millender led the way with 20 points in Marian’s second game at the invite, a 46-29 victory over McEachem (Ga.).
“To bounce back and beat such a quality McEachem team the way we did showed a lot,” Murray said. “The great thing is we have so much room for improvement, and showed we can already play with some great teams. I am looking forward to seeing how good we can become.”
Player of the Week
Brianna Markusic, of Oak Lawn, is the SouthtownStar Girls Basketball Player of the Week.
Markusic, a junior center, was the MVP of the Glenbard East Tournament. In a 60-58 victory over Downers Grove North she had 26 points and 16 rebounds. She also had 20 points and nine rebounds in a 55-52 victory over Glenbard South.