Girls Basketball: Marian Catholic powers past Edwardsville
By Tony Baranek email@example.com March 3, 2014 9:44PM
Teniya Page, of Marian, launches a three point shot against Edwardsville for Super Sectional at Illinios Wesleyan, Monday, March 3rd, 2014 in Bloomington | Gary Middendorf/for Sun-Times Media
AT ILLINOIS WESLEYAN
Marian Catholic 71, Edwardsville 45
AT JUDSON (ELGIN)
Geneva 60, Rockford Boylan 41
AT HINSDALE CENTRAL
Young 57, Neuqua Valley 39
AT HOFFMAN ESTATES
Rolling Meadows 60, New Trier 43
FRIDAY’S STATE SEMIFINALS
(all games at Redbird Arena, Normal)
Geneva vs. Rolling Meadows, 6:30 p.m.
Marian Catholic vs. Young, 8:15 p.m.
Updated: April 5, 2014 6:22AM
BLOOMINGTON — It was stunning. Amazing. Unreal.
There can be no exaggerating the superiority Marian Catholic showed in its 71-45 victory over Edwardsville in Monday night’s Class 4A Illinois Wesleyan Supersectional.
The Spartans’ pressing, smothering defense drove Edwardsville to enough distraction that when not turning the ball over the Tigers badly were missing layups and launching air balls from the perimeter.
At the other end, the Spartans were shooting stars, hitting at an astounding 55 percent, netting 11 three-pointers.
What a show.
“The more shots we knocked down the more it motivated us,” Ashton Millender said.
Millender had 22 points, Teniya Page 20 points and Kauai Bradley nine points and five rebounds as Marian (27-4) advanced to Friday’s Class 4A semifinals in Normal.
Edwardsville (28-2) was led by Aaliyah Covington (18 points) and Kennedy Martin (11).
The opening of the game set the tone, when Covington came up with the ball for Edwardsville and promptly fell down for a travel call. Seconds later Page squared up from three-point range and swished for Marian.
The latter was a scene repeated over and over during a first half in which the Spartans were 7-of-12 from beyond the arc, with Page and Gabrielle Cooper each swishing two. Interspersed were bursts to the basket, the last of which a layup by Millender that left the Spartans with a 39-19 advantage.
“We wanted to push the tempo the whole game and be aggressive offensively,” Marian coach Dan Murray said. “If the three was open, we wanted to take it. But yeah, we wanted to be aggressive.”
Marian looked a much more cool and confident team than it did in either of its sectional victories over Lincoln-Way East and Oak Lawn. In the overtime battle against Oak Lawn, the Spartans made just four three-pointers. Against Edwardsville, they had five by the second minute of the second quarter.
“Last game we had a rough game (against Oak Lawn),” Page said. “I can personally say that I got more worried about the refs the last game. But I put that behind me and came out ready to play.”
The Spartans were relentless.
Any chance Edwardsville had to build some momentum at the start of the second half was snuffed by a turnover and a layup by Millender on a beautiful alley-oop pass from the perimeter by Page. Then the threes started falling again as Page hit for two and Millender two more.With the score 61-28 after three quarters, that allowed Murray to get his bench some time on a college court.
At one point in the fourth quarter Edwardsville’s Kortney Dunbar (5 points) launched a three that badly missed the rim. She threw her hands in the air in frustration.
“We wanted to stop Kortney from shooting and not let the other players affect us,” Millender said. “That was basically it.”
Basically and thoroughly.