Girls Basketball: Page propels Marian Catholic past Joliet Catholic
BY TONY BARANEK email@example.com February 12, 2014 11:08PM
Marian Catholic's Ashton Millender puts up a three-point shot over Joliet Catholic's Nicole Ekhomu in Joliet on Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014. | Mike Mantucca / For Sun-Times Media
Updated: February 13, 2014 2:17AM
Teniya Page didn’t clutter her mind with a lot of thoughts going into Wednesday’s East Suburban Catholic showdown against host Joliet Catholic.
“I came out really just to play instead of thinking about everything else,” the Marian Catholic guard said. “That was basically my whole mentality, to just play and don’t think about it, because things will happen.”
What happened for Marian was all good, as the Spartans established a lead in the first period, stretched it out in the second and put the hammer down in the third en route to a 69-46 victory.
Page led the way for Marian (21-4, 8-0) with 23 points, while Ashton Millender was right behind with 22. Gabrielle Cooper added eight points and five rebounds as the Spartans clinched a tie first place.
Marian can clinch outright with a win Saturday over Fenwick.
Joliet Catholic, which was paced by Jasmine Lumpkin (16 points, 9 rebounds) and Nicole Ekhomu (13 points), dropped to 22-2, 8-1).
The Angels scored the first two buckets of the game, but after that it was pretty much all Marian. The Spartans were aggressive defensively from the start, forcing nine first period turnovers. Many resulted in fast-break baskets. Millender was the hottest early on with 15 first quarter points as Marian opened up a 22-16 advantage.
Joliet Catholic’s vaunted three-point game produced none in the first quarter and only three for the night.
“I guess we just had to play strong on defense and take care of the ball on offense,” Millender said. “We were closing out their shooters. We had to get a hands up on the shooters and run them up the arc.”
Page’s 10-point explosion in the second quarter allowed more separation at 39-31.
“We play well together,” Page said of the 1-2 punch with Millender. “I know that if she’s hitting shots I’m going to keep giving it to her, and she knows that if I’m hitting shots she’s going to keep giving it to me. I mean, there is no reason for us not to pass it to the person that’s hot.”
The knockout punch came in the third period, as Dajhae Mullins, Kauai Bradley and Page contributed to a 6-0 start. Joliet Catholic didn’t score until 1:38 remained, on a running bank-in by Lumpkin. Another Marian flurry got the lead up to 16 points. The Angels never got any closer in the fourth quarter.
“We made some self-imposed mistakes earlier. I think we were a little tight early,” Joliet Catholic coach Ed Schodrof said. “But the biggest factor, I thought, was that we knew that Teniya’s good, that Ashton’s good ... we knew all that. But they out-rebounded, out-toughed us on the loose balls and the rebounds. I thought that was the No. 1 factor in the game.”