Girls Basketball: Marist has no trouble with Nazareth
Updated: January 18, 2012 10:00PM
Short-handed Nazareth had the misfortune of being the first team to play Marist after the RedHawks were knocked from the ranks of the unbeaten with a 57-52 loss to Trinity on Monday.
Marist came out on fire Wednesday night, unleashing a full-court press from the opening tip and routing the host Roadrunners 70-22 in East Suburban Catholic Conference action in LaGrange Park.
Senior Randyll Butler led the way for Marist (20-1, 5-0), scoring 11 of her game-high 14 points in the first quarter as the visitors roared out to a 36-4 lead.
“We knew Trinity was a hard game, but we weren’t expecting after those 19 wins to come up on a loss, so I hate to say it, but we came out hungry,” Butler said. “We were ready to get back on that winning goal.”
The RedHawks, who are off to the best start in school history, forced 16 turnovers in the opening quarter and 35 overall. They stole the inbounds pass and scored on six straight possessions at one point, sinking 16 of 24 shots in the first eight minutes and 22 of 36 in the first half to take a 51-13 lead at intermission.
That made Monday’s loss, in which Marist fell behind early, seem like a distant memory.
“Yesterday at practice Coach [Mary Pat Connolly] talked just about getting back on our goal and our goal is to come out here and play hard,” said Butler, who also had four rebounds, four assists and two steals. “I think in that Trinity game we didn’t come out that strong those first two quarters, and we just wanted to come out strong the first half and play all four quarters instead of just the last two.
“I don’t think we expected [to be up 36-4], so I give my props to all the girls.”
Claire Ryan had 13 points and four steals and Leah Bolton added 12 points, four rebounds and three steals for Marist, which was able to use 14 players in the first half and rest the starters for much of the second half.
JeTaun Rouse and Heather Caddick added six points each and Asia Bey and Hannah Michalek both scored five for the RedHawks, who outscored Nazareth (9-10, 0-4) 19-1 in the third quarter to increase their cushion to 70-14. The visitors wound up with 19 steals.
“We played Viator like that, too, so we’re working more and more on our full-court, man-to-man press, and we thought today would be a good game to start in it unless we had to tweak anything,” Connolly said. “We don’t want to wait until the third quarter and I think we’ve learned our lesson from that Trinity game, that when we play really, really good teams we have to have four quarters.”
Megan Tobin scored eight points to lead the Roadrunners, who were playing without leading scorer Molly Alberts, a 5-9 junior guard who suffered a concussion against Providence on Saturday. Nazareth’s floor leader, senior Tricia Masterson, played limited minutes in her second game of the season after returning from a broken arm suffered on the first day of pre-season practice.
“[Marist] is a great team. They play hard,” Nazareth coach Charlie Rohlf said. “We were short-handed and got a little frustrated, a little down on ourselves. But the kids battled and never gave up and certainly played better in the second half. Our kids are great kids and they’re feisty. They never give up.”
Michelle Lozier had four points and three rebounds and Claire McCracken contributed three points and a game-high six rebounds for the Roadrunners, who shut out the RedHawks in the fourth quarter.
“The kids have worked really hard and a good sign is they came together when the adversity struck,” Rohlf said. “They didn’t break apart and play individual games. They drew some strength from each other and came together as a team.”