Girls Basketball: Marian Catholic tops Fenwick for another perfect conference season
By GEORGE WILCOX For Sun-Times Media February 15, 2014 10:00PM
Updated: February 16, 2014 2:19AM
Marian Catholic ended a second consecutive undefeated East Suburban Catholic Conference season Saturday with a 59-41 victory at Fenwick. And now, the Spartans are eager to defend their Class 4A state championship.
DePaul-bound guard Ashton Millender (6 rebounds) scored 15 of her game-high 20 points in the first half to lead Marian (22-4, 9-0), which won its ninth consecutive game. Millender made three three-pointers in the first quarter as part of the Spartans’ 6-for-10 effort from the arc in the first half.
In the regular-season finale for both teams, Fenwick (11-17, 4-5) led 19-18 at the end of the first quarter. Marian took over in the second and third quarters on defense, allowing a combined 10 points to lead 50-29 heading into the fourth.
The Spartans scored 13 consecutive points in the second quarter and six straight in the third.
“Our defense is pretty good, but they outfought us in the first quarter,” Millender said. “We couldn’t stop them from getting a shot.”
Fenwick coach Dave Power thought Marian’s three-pointers were the difference, particularly in the first half. The Spartans made one in the second half courtesy of Millender, who did not play in the fourth.
“They are talented, that’s for sure,” said Power, whose Friars entered with a three-game winning streak. “The first half was very tough. They have a lot more kids. There is not a talent drop off. They are so loaded.”
Alabama-Birmingham recruit Maya Garland scored a team-high 12 points for Fenwick, but had only two in the second half. She played her final home game along with Creighton-bound guard Jade Owens.
Fenwick opens the postseason against Curie at 8 p.m. Monday in the Reavis Regional. Marian plays Richards or Shepard in the Sandburg Regional at 6 p.m. Tuesday.
The Spartans won the conference for the third time in four years and became just the third different conference school to win back-to-back titles, following Fenwick and Benet. Fenwick won or shared conference titles from 1995-2010.
“We’re taking it game-by-game, one day a time,” Millender said. “We have to keep working hard in practice. We’re getting better.”