Marist Handles Marian in Girls Basketball Rivalry Game
In what Marist coach Mary Pat Connoly called an 'odd' game, the RedHawks finished strong to seal their 47-43 victory over Marian Catholic on Monday night.
When the Marist RedHawks and the Marian Catholic Spartans take the court in girls basketball, it's a good bet you can throw the records out.
The rivalry between the two squads is always fierce. On Monday in Chicago Heights, the two teams dueled to the final buzzer. At the end, though, it was Marist's low-post presence that sealed the game for a 47-43 RedHawks victory.
“We're glad we won; we survived,” Marist coach Mary Pat Connolly said. “We're big conference rivals, we're big South Side rivals, so it's going to be an 'odd' game. The whole game is going to be odd because of the rivalry. If it was somebody else, the game would've ran smoother … They gave us a good run.”
As for the RedHawks effort in the low post, it came as no surprise to their coach.
“We work on it every day," Connolly said. "Our lineup is real strong, if we would have finished just a couple more shots in (the paint), I think we would have been up by more."
Marian Catholic coach Annie Byrne said that she was impressed with her young team, even though the Spartans were at a disadvantage in the height department.
“We're not huge, that's not one of our strengths,” she said. “So (we're) just learning how to adapt to that. How do we adjust to that?”
The task of trying to slow down Marian's leading scorer, froward Megan Walsh (14 points), fell to Marist's Asianna Bey, who did exactly that. Bey contested nearly every one of Walsh's shots, while also scoring nine points of her own, to go along with nine rebounds as well.
“I knew I had to come in strong in the paint, because I heard (Megan Walsh) had been averaging 20 points,” Bey said. “So, I knew I had to be strong offensively and defensively with the rebounds. I was just head-hunting for the ball.”
The loss dropped Marian to 5-4, which Byrn said is uncharted territory for Marian.
“We've never started off this way, but I really believe in where this group can finish,” Bryne said. “Who knows where we're going to be in another 10 games.”
The win kept Marist's pristine record intact as the RedHawks improved to 11-0.