Boys Basketball: Marian Catholic overwhelms Rich East
By Pat Disabato firstname.lastname@example.org December 27, 2013 10:58PM
Updated: January 30, 2014 6:42AM
Defending McDipper champion Marian Catholic barely broke a sweat Friday night in disposing of Rich East 81-63 in a quarterfinal.
The Spartans (8-1) advance the semifinals opposite Joliet Central at 8:30 p.m. Saturday.
Marian converted 30-of-54 field goals, including 25-of-40 from two-point range. Twelve different players scored for the Spartans, with Terrone Parham (17 points, 12 rebounds) and Tyler Ulis (16 points, 6 assists, 5 rebounds) reaching double figures.
Despite the blowout win, Marian coach Mike Taylor had some issues with his squad — primarily, how his team lost some of its focus in the second half.
“You still have to do the things you work on,” Taylor said of the team’s second-half play. “There’s a fine line between getting other people time and keeping the machine well oiled. We’re still looking for people to be role players. I’m afraid you start to get some bad habits in a game like this.”
Marian Catholic’s pressure defense wreaked havoc on Rich East, resulting in 21 turnovers and numerous high-percentage layups. Most of the turnovers could be attributed to the pressure applied by guards Ki-Jana Crawford, John Oliver and Ulis.
“Our defensive pressure can be scary at times,” Taylor said. “We shot a lot of layups.”
Most of the layups came by way of fine passes by Ulis. The Kentucky recruit provided no-look dishes to Oliver and Crawford in the first quarter that resulted in easy baskets and a 22-12 advantage after one period.
The Spartans put the game away in the second quarter, compliments of a 17-6 run. Parham had six points during the spurt, including a nifty reverse layup. Ulis added a steal and layup, while reserves Xavier Parker and Ezra Pointer-Jones contributed hoops that eventually stretched the Spartans’ advantage to 43-21.
Quinton Moore led Rich East with 29 points. Marsean Ross and Don Henderson finished with eight and seven points, respectively.
“We’re trying to make a statement that we’re one of the best teams in the state,” Parham said. “We have to focus on playing defense really hard. We have to be more energetic and play our game. We’re expected to win it (McDipper) this year.”
The Spartans will need to overcome a Joliet Central squad that upended Hales 57-54 in an earlier quarterfinal.
“Joliet Central was very impressive,” Taylor said. “You can see their confidence growing. We’re going to have to move the ball and shoot it well.”