CHICAGO | It wasn't a question of whether the tank was half empty or half full for Times No. 1 Marian Catholic.
There was no question the Spartans ran out of gas, falling 63-62 to Fremd at the Whitney Young Chi-Town Showdown on Saturday.
Marian was playing its second game of the day as it beat Proviso East 50-39 earlier at the Oswego Hoops for Troops Tournament.
The Spartans led 60-51 with 2:24 left, but the Vikings outscored them 12-2 down the stretch as Haley Gorecki hit a layup with 24.1 seconds left to give her team a 63-62 lead. Marian looked for a final shot, but the game ended when Teniya Page was called for traveling.
Spartans coach Dan Murray did not cite fatigue as the crucial factor.
"Not at all," Murray said. "We lost because we didn't take care of the ball and didn't value every possession like you are supposed to.
"We had a what? seven-, nine-point lead and couldn't finish. We missed back-to-back 1-and 1s."
Fremd (8-1) finished as Bryana Hopkins stole the ball and dribbled down court and found Gorecki, who hit what would be the game-winner.
"Coach (Dave Yates) told us to keep playing defense and I saw the opportunity and got the steal," Hopkins said. "I was going to take the shot myself, but I saw Haley wide open and fed her."
Gorecki, who scored 13 of her game-high 23 points in the fourth quarter, said it happened so fast.
"Bryana made a great defensive play and a great pass," Gorecki said. "I had a good look at the basket. It was a total team effort."
Neither team really went on a big run, but Marian led most of the game. Ashton Millender hit a pair of free throws with 1:35 left to put the Spartans (6-2) up 62-57. It was Marian's last points as the Vikings closed out with a 6-0 run as Marian missed front ends of two 1-and-1s.
"We just didn't take care of the ball, sloppy play and not playing good defense down the stretch." Murray said.
Page led Marian with 14, while Dajhae Mullins had 13 points and nine rebounds. Kauai Bradley had 12 and Millender 11.