Boys Basketball: Marian Catholic rolls over Nazareth
By Bill Harrison For Sun-Times Media February 27, 2014 9:14PM
Updated: April 1, 2014 10:02AM
The only thing in doubt after the first quarter Thursday during Marian Catholic’s Senior Night against Nazareth was whether the Spartans would score 100 points.
If the starters would have played at least 24 of the 32 minutes, they might have. But Marian Catholic coach Mike Taylor will take his team’s 79-56 East Suburban Catholic Conference win after giving substantial playing time for all 10 seniors.
“They are 10 really good kids. I’m glad they all got time,” Taylor said. “Makes a nice ending to their home career. They’ve only lost one game at home (against Homewood-Flossmoor) in the last two years.”
The win for the Spartans (24-2, 8-0) secured the conference title outright. The Spartans are riding a nine-game win streak and have won 20 of their last 21.
The Roadrunners (13-12, 3-5), also a senior-dominated team, were ahead 11-10 before a 16-0 Spartans’ run.
The Spartans led 30-15 after the first period in which all 10 seniors received playing time. Tyler Ulis and Josh Cohn were red-hot out of the gate. Ulis scored eight of his 21 points in the quarter while Cohn scored nine of his 15.
“This is a very special night to lead Marian,” Ulis said. “Last time playing on the Marian floor, and it was an huge honor to play here. Now we need to get ready for state.”
Michael Brooks led the Roadrunners with 17 points while Chris Swade added 16.
Marian’s regular starters — Ulis, KiJana Crawford, Josh Oliver, Terrone Parham and Cohn — left with about two minutes left in the first period and a 26-11 lead. The second group of seniors — Brandon Clark, Hayes Bynum, Ezra Pointer-Jones, Nick Damiana and Xavier Parker — increased the lead to 35-15.
The Spartans led by as much as 45-17 late in the second quarter.
“This was good experience,” Parker said. “All my four years here and never really had an experience like that and we even gave us a little boost.”
Marian’s senior class, which has a combined 53-6 record over the last two seasons, hopes to improve on their Elite Eight appearance last season.