Girls Basketball: Marian Catholic defeats Providence
By Tony Baranek firstname.lastname@example.org December 7, 2011 10:48PM
Providence's Anna Novak (left) and Karly Tinervia battle for a rebound with Marian Catholic's Brianna Morrison (center). | Brett Roseman~Sun-Times Media
Updated: January 9, 2012 9:18AM
Replacing graduated senior Simone Law as an enforcer under the basket this season wouldn’t have been easy for anyone. And for Marian Catholic junior Megan Walsh, it was kind of intimidating.
“Yeah, definitely,” she said. “Especially in the Lincoln-Way East game, I was really nervous. Simone was such a great player, and I had some really big shoes to fill.”
In that game against East, the 2011-12 season opener, Walsh had just five points and fouled out.
Since then she’s adjusted very well, thank you.
In Wednesday night’s 80-54 East Suburban Catholic Conference victory over visiting Providence, the 6-foot-1 forward was a powerhouse underneath, scoring a team-high 19 points and pulling down 11 boards.
Ashton Millender added 17 points, Teniya Page nine and Amber Williams eight as the Spartans (5-2, 1-0) began league play with a flourish.
Anna Novak (15 points), Cassidy Glenn (13) and Alex Shermulis (11) led the way for Providence (4-5, 0-1).
Walsh played on the Spartans varsity as a sophomore, but the heavy duty work went to Law, who would go on to be the 2010-11 SouthtownStar Player of the Year.
“With Simone I was more of an outside post instead of inside, and I would feed it to Simone,” Walsh said. “So I was definitely stepping into a different role.
“At practice we like to beat each other up so I can be tougher, like Simone was. And we lift after most of our practices, so I’m getting a bit stronger.”
Walsh showed her strength with six points during a second-quarter stretch in which Marian turned a 15-10 lead at the break into a double-digit edge the rest of the way.
A big key for the Spartans was their defense, which held Glenn — who came into the game averaging 13.1 points — to just four first-half points.
“We just tried to contain her and make sure she couldn’t get the ball,” Walsh said. “We were trying to keep a fast guard on her at all times.”
Glenn was 1-of-8 from the field in the first two quarters.
“She had some great looks, they just didn’t drop,” Providence coach Eileen Copehaver said. “And they shot 50 percent while we shot 23 or 24 in the first half. That was the difference.”
Glenn nicely recovered to help the Celtics play Marian to pretty much a standoff in the second half. But Millender made sure Providence didn’t make up ground by popping in a pair of three-pointers and two more field goals to boot in the third period.