Marian turns up defensive pressureMarian Catholic's Brianna Morrison comes down with a rebound against Lincoln-Way Central.
Updated: March 23, 2011 9:24AM
Less than two minutes into Tuesday's Class 4A Providence Regional semifinal, Marian Catholic coach Annie Byrne had seen enough.
Disappointed with her team's defensive effort, Byrne called a timeout.
"She told us not to come out and play the way we did," Marian guard Jasmine Matthews said. "We weren't focused coming out in the beginning so she just wanted us to focus and not be lax during the game."
Powered by their smothering defense, the top-seeded Spartans ran out to an early lead against Lincoln-Way Central and never looked back in a 95-34 semifinal win.
No. 5 Marian Catholic will play Providence Thursday in the regional final at 7:30 p.m.
Matthews led five double-digit scorers with 19 points including a 4-for-6 showing from beyond the arc for Marian (27-4). Simone Law (7 rebounds) added 17 points to go with efforts from Maryssa Cladis (12), Jamie Johnson (11), and Amber Williams (10) as 11 different players scored overall.
Amanda Gagliano finished with 13 points for Lincoln-Way Central (9-18) with Courtney Paarlberg adding eight points.
In the early going it was Marian's defense that produced easy fast-break buckets. Causing nine first-quarter turnovers, the Spartans went up 13-0 and 23-3 through one quarter.
"We always work hard on defense in practice," Matthews said. "We didn't come out playing our hardest on defense so we came out (after the timeout) and picked it up."
For the half, Central shot just 4-for-22 from the field while hitting 11-of-16 free throws.
"Everyone expects us just to be glad to be here," Lincoln-Way Central coach Loren Hess said. "It was an uphill battle, and we just wanted to keep climbing uphill. A lot of girls could have shrugged their shoulders and walked off, but our girls didn't do that."
Providence 47, Richards 37
Losing leading scorer Cassidy Glenn just over a week ago to an ACL injury, Providence is improvising on the fly.
Stepping up in Tuesday's regional semifinal for the Celtics was the senior duo of Emily Persak and Danielle Barry in a 47-37 win.
Persak finished with 15 points and Barry added 16 for Providence (12-19).
Battling a foot injury, Persak scored 10 points including two three-pointers in the third quarter when Providence pulled away for good.
Brianna LeBeau (12 points, 9 rebounds) and Raneisha Hill (10 points) led Richards (15-10).