Girls Basketball: Marian Catholic holds off Lincoln-Way East
By Tony Baranek firstname.lastname@example.org February 25, 2014 9:42PM
Marian Catholic's Teniya Page (1) drives toward the basket as Lincoln-Way East's Jill Connolly defends. | Allen Cunningham/For Sun-Times Media
Updated: February 26, 2014 2:17AM
Marian Catholic’s Gabrielle Cooper passed up a couple of open scoring opportunities during Tuesday night’s Class 4A Bloom Sectional semifinal against Lincoln-Way East.
At halftime, she heard about it.
“The team was about to cut my head off,” she said. “They made me shoot.”
Two three-pointers later, Marian finally had some separation in what had been a nail-biter. The Spartans went on to build a big lead, then held off a late East rally to post a 61-51 victory.
Teniya Page (20 points) and Ashton Millender (16) led the way for Marian (25-4), which earned a spot in Thursday night’s sectional final against Oak Lawn.
Dana O’Grady and Kara Krolicki each had 15 points for Lincoln-Way East (24-4).
Marian had beaten East by 30 points in the season opener and sped to a 13-6 lead in the rematch. The Griffins fought back from the three-point arc, going 6-of-10 in the first quarter, as Krolicki and Haley McCabe hit two each to help East go up 20-16.
A second-quarter battle ended with Marian in front 31-30 at halftime.
“I guess we didn’t get out to their shooters enough and they were knocking them down,” Millender said. “We had to talk more on defense, pick it up more on defense.”
The Spartans, sparked by Cooper’s treys, went on a points flurry in the third period, Millender and Page adding seven each. Jerell Matthews’ three as the buzzer sounded made it 54-41.
Trailing 56-41 early in the fourth, East went on a 10-0 run that was bookended by threes by Krolicki and O’Grady. Another trey that could have cut the gap to two rimmed out, before Page took over for Marian, hitting a pair of free throws and a pull-up jumper.
“I wouldn’t say I was worried, but I know I was frustrated that we were playing terrible,” Page said of the fourth-quarter mini-collapse by the Spartans. “We won, so it’s OK, but if we play (Thursday) like we played (Tuesday), we’ll be in the same predicament.”