CHICAGO HEIGHTS | Ashton Millender found herself in a different role Saturday afternoon.
The junior starter found herself coming off the bench as coach Annie Byrne started an all-senior lineup on Senior Day.
Once Millender entered the game midway through the first quarter, she got back into her routine as a leader as she scored seven of her 15 points in the first quarter to get the Spartans on a roll and give them a lead they would never relinquish in a 73-49 East Suburban Catholic rout of Fenwick on Saturday.
The win gives Times No. 1 Marian Catholic (26-1, 9-0) the ESCC title outright and extends its winning streak to 13 games. Marian has not lost in 2013.
Millender said she wanted to come off the bench and make an impact right away and she did.
"Winning conference was big for us," Millender said. "We wanted to make a statement going into the playoffs.
"We came out and just played hard."
The Spartans trailed 10-5 as the Friars (22-6, 7-2) scored 10 unanswered points until Millender hit a basket and her 3-pointer tied it as Marian closed the quarter with an 18-13 lead.
"I knew I had to get open," Millender said. "We did a good job of moving the ball."
Senior Melanie Ransom had back-to-back baskets to put the Spartans up 17-13. She finished with 13 points. She said they knew Fenwick would try to push the ball up and shoot.
"Coach (Annie Byrne) said they would not play a lot of defense, so that left us open once we got past their traps," Ransom said. "We just had to come out and play hard because winning conference was a big deal to us."
Sophomore Teniya Page finished with a team-high 17 points and seven assists. She said she had some good looks at the basket.
"They were overplaying everybody, and iI had a chance to to shoot,” Page said. “So I took the shots. My job (as a point guard) is to pass first, but the shots were there."