Girls Basketball: Marist bolts by TF NorthJeTaun Rouse, of Marist, goes up for the shot against T.F. North for the Class 4A Marist Regional Championship at Marist High School, Thursday, Febuary 16th, 2012 in Chicago, IL. l Gary Middendorf~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: February 16, 2012 10:02PM
Marist juniors JeTaun Rouse and Leah Bolton were honored before Thursday night’s Class 4A Marist Regional final for passing the 1,000 career-point mark.
Then they went out and made quick history of T.F. North.
The RedHawks seized control in the first quarter and exploded in the second. They led by as many as 45 points before the starters retired early in the fourth period of an 81-50 victory.
Marist (30-1) advanced to a Monday Class 4A Sandburg Sectional semifinal against Marian Catholic.
All five starters reached double figures for the RedHawks. JeTaun Rouse led the way with 26 points, while Randyll Butler (14 points, 10 rebounds), Asianna Bey (13 points), Claire Ryan (13 points) and Bolton (10 points) also starred.
T.F. North (20-8) was led by Sharee Greenlee (23 points) and Schenia Battle (9).
“That’s the best we’ve played this year,” Rouse said. “We wanted a win, and we were focused. We’re ready for the road to state.”
On this night, Marist was superior in all departments, from passing to fast-breaking,to quick strikes off turnovers and rebounds.
The RedHawks hit their first six shots, which sent them on their way to going up 15-5 with three minutes remaining in the first period.
It was the second period, though, when they really put all doubt in the rear-view mirror as Rouse hit for 14 points during a flurry of impressive rushes up and down the court.
“Coach (Mary Pat) Connolly always says to get it out and go,” Butler said. “That’s what we practice. That’s our game. We’ve almost perfected it.”
During a 20-of-39 performance from the field that led to a 46-18 halftime advantage, it was pretty darned close.
“They were hot, they were very athletic and they are very well-coached,” Meteors coach Tim Zasada said of Marist. “And put that on their home floor, and it’s a pretty good mixture.
“I would hate to look on tape to see how quick they actually are. I’m thinking it’s less than two seconds (from possession change). It’s pretty impressive and pretty hard to get back on. I think they’re a very special basketball team.
“Everybody is talking about Bolingbrook. But I think this team will step up to them, no problem.”
The loss marked the end of Zasada’s seven-year career at T.F. North.
“At the end of the day all you can do is your best,” he said. “I think I did that, so I can sleep at night. We did some special things here for a program that was struggling. We were pretty successful, I think.”