CHICAGO | Marian Catholic traveled all the way to Mother McAuley on Tuesday night and returned to Chicago Heights with a 57-35 sectional semifinal win against neighboring Bloom Township.
The Spartans will now face the host Mighty Macs on Thursday night in the sectional final.
"Something we overlook as coaches is because of how much success they've had over the season, they've still never experienced this playoff run," Marian coach Annie Byrn said. "We were knocked out at this point last year. I think it was a decent performance, but I think we were capable of doing a lot better on both ends."
The Spartans jumped to an early lead against the Blazing Trojans and never let up. They led 31-15 by halftime.
Tenia Page led the Spartans with 16 points. Briana Narcissi added 12 points and three rebounds for Marian Catholic.
Melanie Ransom added nine points and four rebounds for the Spartans, while Kauai Bradley and Dejhae Mullins added eight points each for Marian Catholic.
"Every day at practice we work on defense," Narcissi said. "We're up there aggressive and looking for steals so we can get our offense going from that. On Thursday, we need to come out ready to play if we want a chance to win."
Bloom Township made just six field goals in the first half and 11 field goals in the entire game. Danielle King led the Blazing Trojans with 14 points. Senior Bria Gaines added six points and 10 rebounds.
"We didn't execute the plan like we wanted to," Bloom Township coach Ron Newquist said. "We didn't take care of the ball in the first half. We put ourselves in a big hole, and it's hard to get out of a big hole against a team this good."