The Hot Read: Marian Catholic wasn’t about to share the conference championship, especially with the team that cost the Spartans a conference title last year. Facing off with its biggest conference rival, the Spartans entered their last regular-season game with tensions mounting for the past a week and a half. The Fenwick-Marian Catholic game was supposed to happen early last week, but the snow postponed the contest. From the outset of Friday night’s game, the tension and energy could be felt emanating from the court.
Fenwick led 10-7 after the first quarter in a defensive struggle. Marian found its offensive touch in the second quarter, as senior guard Jasmine Matthews nailed two three-pointers, and junior forward Amber Williams hit a fast-break lay-up at the buzzer to give the Spartans a 23-18 lead.
Marian's Simone Law had a dominant third quarter, scoring eight points in the frame, and the Spartans led 36-27 at the start of the fourth. The Friars weren’t done, however, and went on a 6-0 run to start the final period. But Matthews responded with another three, and the Spartans held on for the victory.
Patch’s MVP: Marian senior forward Simone Law (21 points, 13 rebounds). Law found seams in Fenwick’s 2-3 zone to dominant the glass and made seven free throws as part of her 21 points.
Key Stats: Marian dominated the glass, outrebounding Fenwick 31-25.
Marian Catholic’s Leaders: In addition to Law, senior guard Jasmine Matthews (21 points, 2 assists), sophomore center Megan Walsh (5 points, 7 rebounds) and junior guard Alanna Ferry (4 steals, 3 rebounds, 3 assists).
Fenwick’s Leaders: Senior guard Kathleen Roche (15 points, 2 rebounds), senior guard Sarah Williams (14 points, 3 steals) and freshman guard Jade Owens (4 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists).
Quotable: Marian forward Simone Law on the victory: “It was our time this year, so we were ready to step up and take the challenge.”
Marian coach Annie Basic-Byrne, who won the ESCC outright for the first time in her six years, on her team’s second-half adjustments facing Fenwick’s 2-3 zone: “I was happy with the adjustments we made in the second half. I wasn’t too thrilled that we weren’t looking to attack the seams and that we weren’t shifting the zone more. I thought it was a little stagnant. But the kids adjusted well.”
Team Records: Marian Catholic: 26-4 overall, 9-0 in the ESCC. Fenwick: 24-4, 7-2 in the ESCC.
What’s Next: Marian Catholic begins the playoffs next Tuesday against the winner of Lincoln-Way Central and Thornwood at the Providence Catholic Regional.