Marist and Marian Catholic are two teams that possess high-powered offenses and skilled defenses. Both have excellent forwards who can shoot from the outside and put the ball on the floor and drive to the basket.
The pretense for Thursday night's girls basketball sectional championship matchup at Lincoln-Way North has all the hallmarks of a classic. Simone Law leads the way for the Spartans. At 6-0, the senior forward and D-I recruit (Loyola) will be matched in the post by Marist's 6-1 junior center Asiana Bey.
The Spartans are coming off a 72-58 victory over Homewood-Flossmoor. The RedHawks defeated Lincoln-Way East 52-38.
When the teams met back in December, it was the Spartans winning by a count of 67-58. The two are long-time rivals from the East Suburban Catholic Conference.
Marist coach Mary Pat Connolly is excited for the challenge of facing Marian again.
"I don't think we played our best game," she said. "We don't even have the same team now that we did then. We're looking forward to getting them back. One of our goals was to get to the sectional final and to hit Marian again."
Connolly watched Marian's win over H-F and commented on what her team needs to do to advance to the Saint Xavier Supersectional.
"We know we have to stop Simone Law and Jasmine Matthews," Connolly said. "If we can stop them, that would help us. We need to control the boards and continue our defense."
Marist started in a 2-3 zone look against the Griffins during the first quarter on Monday night. East coach Jim Martin said he prepared his team for a zone, but once Marist switched to a man-to-man look, the RedHawks took complete control.
Look for Marist to make adjustments as necessary, but Marian will counter. It will be an intense matchup and has the potential to be a very fast-paced ballgame and a high-scoring affair.