CHICAGO HEIGHTS | Times No. 2 Marian Catholic didn't have Kauai Bradley on Monday, as the front-court stalwart was resting a banged-up knee for the second straight game.
For much of the night, the Spartans didn't have Dajhae Mullins, another starting forward, who was saddled with foul trouble.
But they did have Teniya Page and Ashton Millender. And, as Millender noted, "We have chemistry."
Page scored 27 points and had eight assists while Millender scored 18 with 12 rebounds to lift Marian past Times No. 3 Crete-Monee, 65-44.
The Warriors got 20 points and 12 rebounds from Marsha Howard, but Crete had no answer whenever Marian's dynamic duo were on the floor.
Page scored 14 points and Millender nine as Marian (18-4) outscored Crete (18-6) 23-11 in the first quarter. Page was 3-of-3 from 3-point range and 5-of-8 overall in the period and Millender 3-of-4 from the floor while the rest of the Spartans attempted just three shots.
"The two of them put a lot of pressure on a defense," Marian coach Dan Murray said. "We didn't have Kauai, Dajhae was in a lot of foul trouble, so Ashton and Teniya really picked up the slack."
Marian's lead ballooned to 39-13 at the half, Jerell Matthews getting in the act with eight of her 12 points on the night. Meanwhile, Crete made just 1-of-9 shots from the floor and missed all five of its free throws in the quarter.
"Player-for-player, competitor-for-competitor, I don't think we get intimidated at all," Crete coach Christina Cobbins said. "We weren't disciplined in the first half.
"In the third quarter, we made up our minds to take it to the basket."
It helped that Page was on the bench for much of the period. Though Marian led by as many as 28 points early in the quarter, Crete, with Howard scoring nine points, cut it to 45-27 heading into the fourth.
In the final quarter, the Warriors got as close as 55-41 on a pair of Alexis DeBose free throws with 3:57 to play, but faded thereafter.
Page scored 10 of Marian's 15 points over a 4 1/2-minute span ending with her three-point play with 1:16 left to put the Spartans up 63-44. After her first-quarter barrage of treys, much of her offense came on drives to the basket.
"She just picks her spots real well," Murray said. "Tonight, they over-extended on the shooters, and she has the ability to go around them."