Girls Basketball: Marist battles back to top Marian CatholicLeah Bolton, of Marist, takes a shot against Marian Catholic for the Class 4A Sectional Semi Finals at Carl Sandburg High School, Monday, Febuary 20th, 2012 in Orland Park, IL. l Gary Middendorf~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: February 20, 2012 10:07PM
Marist spent much of Monday night’s Class 4A Sandburg Sectional semifinal against Marian Catholic in a rare state.
The RedHawks trailed by as many as 12 points. They were behind at the end of each of the first three quarters.
After a three-pointer at the start of the fourth by Ashton Millender, it was 46-41 Marian.
What happened then wasn’t a comeback. It was a knockout punch.
From a free throw and subsequent putback by Randyll Butler through a steal and driving layup by Claire Ryan, the RedHawks were unstoppable during an 18-0 run.
The chase was over.
“We just didn’t want it to be our last game,” Asianna Bey said after a 63-49 victory that advanced Marist to Thursday’s sectional final against the winner of Tuesday night’s Lincoln-Way East vs. Homewood-Flossmoor semifinal.
Leah Bolton paved the way for the RedHawks (31-1) with 25 points and seven rebounds. Butler added 13 points and 11 rebounds.
Marian Catholic (21-12) was paced by Millender (16 points, six rebounds) and Amber Williams (13 points).
The Spartans, who lost 47-43 in the regular-season meeting, hit Marist early and often with one of the best shots that an opponent has managed this season. They had two runs in the first quarter alone, and with 5:15 left in the second led 26-14.
“We knew we had to come out strong. I mean, Marist is a good team,” Marian’s Megan Walsh said. “Today we definitely believed we could beat them.”
The RedHawks had further issues than the 12-point deficit with the 6-foot-1 Bey on the bench after collecting her second and third fouls (the latter on a technical).
But Bolton refused to let Marian pull away, scoring 18 of the RedHawks’ 27 first-half points. She also played a key part in the fourth-quarter rally.
“They came out to get us this time,” Bolton said. “We were a little sluggish, but we came out in the second quarter and did what we had to do.”
Bey made the starting lineup complete in the fourth quarter, and all five scored, with a bonus bucket from sub Brooke Wyderski.