Boys Basketball: Ulis showcases talent in Marian Catholic’s victory
By Patrick Z. McGavin For Sun-Times Media January 4, 2014 10:30PM
Updated: February 6, 2014 6:51AM
MUSKEGON, Mich. — Tyler Ulis has made Marian Catholic a very big deal, transforming the program into a must-see road act.
In the first of three consecutive out of state weekend performances, the 5-foot-10 Kentucky recruit demonstrated his electric and dynamic game by scoring 26 points and adding six assists, six steals and five rebounds as Marian Catholic ran past Detroit Country Day (Mich.) 74-60 in the Muskegon Showcase Classic on Saturday.
The Spartans (11-1) won their seventh straight game and remained hot after capturing their second consecutive McDipper championship on Monday.
Marian Catholic plays the next two weekends in Kentucky and Ohio, respectively.
“It’s very exciting to have the chance to go on the road and play teams like this because this is something that’s never happened for Marian Catholic basketball,” Ulis said.
Ulis scored 14 points in the first half and added four assists and four steals. He orchestrated runs of 9-2 and 11-2 as the Spartans bolted to a commanding 41-28 lead at the break.
Ulis showed extraordinary flair and body control, repeatedly getting to the lane and finishing at the basket or distributing to open teammates at the rim.
“They were pressing us the whole game, and it was a big court, bigger than we usually play on, so it was easier to get into the lane and get to the basket,” Ulis said.
Senior 6-7 forward Terrone Parham scored seven of his 15 points in the first quarter. He added a team-high six rebounds.
Ulis’ backcourt mate, senior guard Ki-Jana Crawford, scored 10 points. Senior forward John Oliver contributed five points and five rebounds.
Junior guard Christopher Austin scored seven of his nine points in the first half.
The story was Ulis. His creativity and flair in the open floor repeatedly broke down the interior of the Yellow Jackets’ defense. Detroit Country Day (4-3) made a couple of second-half runs behind the play of 6-4 senior guard Edmon Sumner (24 points), a Xavier recruit. Senior guard Maceo Baston added 15 points for the Yellow Jackets, a Detroit powerhouse whose alumni include Chris Webber, Shane Battier and former Hales star JaVale McGee.
Detroit Country Day beat Seton in the same event last year.
Ulis shut the door on any comeback by recording back-to-back three-point plays to end the third quarter. Marian Catholic led by as many as 22 points early in the fourth quarter before coach Mike Taylor played his substitutes.
Eight different Marian Catholic players scored.