Ask any Marian Catholic player and they will talk about "unfinished business."
The Spartans saw their 2012-13 dream season end at Illinois State's Redbird Arena against the same team they will face tonight on the same floor.
Marian Catholic (28-2) will face Edwardsville (29-2) at 7 p.m. today in the Class 4A Illinois State Super-Sectional. The winner plays at 8:15 p.m. Friday against either Benet Academy or Glenbard North.
Marian senior guard Ki-Jana Crawford said that he and his teammates used last year's 68-49 loss to the Tigers as motivation.
"We still have not done anything that last year's team didn't do," Crawford said. "Coach (Mike Taylor) has reminded us of that. We have had a good year, but we want to go that one step further and we know it won't be easy."
The tough schedule and travel has prepared Marian, Crawford said.
"Last year, I think we were a little in awe by the bigger court, the shooting background," Crawford said. "This year, we have payed everywhere and in front of big crowds.
"We are also familiar with them and Redbrid (Arena)."
Taylor said that is one of the reasons.
"I think our schedule was more local last year and for us, it was the first time Marian had ever played in a super-sectional," Taylor said. "This year, we played all over the country, in shootouts, and I think that has helped prepare us."
Spartans forward Terrone Parham said the experience will play a factor.
"I think being a year older, more experienced is a plus," Parham said. "We were a little tentative last year, passed up some shots. Coach told us that is better sometimes to miss a shot than to not shoot. At least you can maybe get the rebound and put it back up."
Marian scored just two points in the second quarter of last year's loss and trailed by as many as 27 points.
"We are just focused -- all business ," Parham said. "We know we have to play our game and we also know Edwardsville is a very good team."
The two are similar in that they rely on guard play, though the Tigers have a slight advantage.
"We are similiar in that we both shoot the ball well and play good defense," Taylor said. "They tend to play just five while we have a little more depth.
"We were able to play a lot of different kids early, hoping that if we got this far, it would pay off."
Marian is averaging 70.9 points per game, while allowing 57.6. Edwardsville is averaging 60-4 points per game, while giving up an average of 45.4 per game.
Tigers guard Shawn Roundtree averages 17.4 points and 8.5 rebounds per game, while 6-foot-5 Armon Fletcher averages a double-double with 17.5 points and 13.8 rebounds per game.
Marian's Tyler Ulis is averaging 23.3 points and 6.8 assists per game. Terrone Parham (11.4 ppg), Josh Cohn (9.1 ppg), Ki-Jana Crawford (7.2 ppg) and John Oliver (5.7) round out a balanced scoring attack.