Teniya Page didn’t look nervous on Monday.
She didn’t play like she was nervous, either.
That’s the thing about the Marian Catholic sophomore point guard – she stays calm no matter what the situation.
And this situation was bigger than most. Page made only 1 of 10 shots from the floor but went 6-for-6 from the free-throw stripe and made only four turnovers as Marian Catholic knocked off Bolingbrook 58-50 at the 23rd annual McDonald’s Shootout at Willowbrook.
It was the first time the Spartans (20-1) have beaten Bolingbrook.
“Teniya is a competitor,” Marian Catholic coach Annie Byrne said. “The JCA game I thought she looked like a senior. I thought today, for her to have that much pressure on her for 32 minutes, I was extremely proud of her and proud of all the kids.”
Page scored only eight points but she dished out seven assists, including three during a crucial third quarter that saw the Spartans outscore the Raiders 16-5 to break a 27-27 halftime tie.
“It means a lot, especially since it was our 20th win of the season,” Page said. “Before this game we came out looking to make a statement.
“I wasn’t nervous at all. All I had to do was play and I know that if I play I will do well.”
With their outside shots not falling, the Spartans became more aggressive on offense in the third quarter, with Page and fellow guard Ashton Millender taking the initiative.
“We had to attack the basket more and we wasn’t doing that in the first half,” Page said. “And we had to making smart decisions on offense and defense.”
Sophomore forward Kauai Bradley heeded that advice as she attacked and scored on a drive at the 6:03 mark of the period to give the Spartans a 31-30 lead. More importantly, she drew the fourth foul on Bolingbrook guard Amarah Coleman.
“The ref called Amarah for a foul and we were in trouble,” Bolingbrook coach Anthony Smith said. “I think maybe it was a tie ballgame and she got her fourth foul and they went on an 8-1 run.
“When she got back in the ballgame, we crept back but we could never get [the lead] back. If she doesn’t pick up that fourth foul, I think we’re all right.”
Instead, the Spartans increased their lead to 45-32 on a rebound bucket by Melanie Ransom early in the fourth quarter.
The Raiders (14-5) used a 9-0 run to pull within 48-47 after Aysia Bugg scored four straight points, but the Spartans made eight straight free throws –—four each by Page and Millender — to put the game out of reach. Two of Page’s foul shots came after Bugg’s last basket.
“’T’ never seems nervous,” Walsh said. “She always knows what to do, how to handle herself. She’s always composed and even if something is not her fault she’s like, ‘my bad, my bad.’ She does a great job.”
Millender led Marian with 14 points, while the Truman State-bound Megan Walsh had 13 points, seven rebounds and four blocks. Ransom added 10 points and Bradley scored five to go with eight boards.
“[The win] means a lot, especially being the first [Marian] team to beat Bolingbrook,” Walsh said. “I feel like it’s going to boost everyone’s confidence and we’re just going to keep getting better.”
Coleman led Bolingbrook with 18 points, making her first six shots before missing two in the final minute, and Bugg tallied 16 points, but no other Raider had more than six.
“We’ve still got a young team and I’m just trying to get them to have that killer mentality,” Smith said. “I’m glad I’m bald already so I don’t have any more [hair] to lose.
“I’m losing weight, though. So anybody wants to lose weight, you tell them to get a young team and play in big-time games and you’ll lose a couple pounds.”