Marian Catholic, which has struggled at times this season with some new faces in the lineup and on the bench, looked like the Marian Catholic of old Monday against Rolling Meadows.
Senior guard Ashton Millender scored a season-high 29 points and junior Teniya Page added 20 points and six assists as the defending Class 4A champions handled Rolling Meadows 75-59 at the 24th annual McDonald’s Shootout hosted by Willowbrook High School.
Millender, who is headed to DePaul in the fall, was 11-of-15 from the field and 5-of-5 from the free-throw line. She also had seven rebounds and four assists. Her two free throws with 5:10 remaining after Rolling Meadows cut a 16-point deficit to 57-51 ignited a 14-5 run to seal the outcome.
“I have confidence in myself,” Millender said. “I know I have to keep shooting even when I miss.”
Missing is something Millender did rarely Monday. Misfiring is something Marian Catholic hopes to avoid heading into the state tournament in a few weeks.
“We were struggling before,” Millender said. “We had to get used to each other. I think this is a sign that we’re getting better. We just have to take care of the ball, get it to the open person, execute and play as a team.”
Kauai Bradley added nine points and five rebounds for Marian Catholic (15-4). Jackie Kemph had 20 points, Jenny Vliet had 13 points and 14 rebounds and Alexis Glasgow added 11 points for Rolling Meadows (18-3), which was just 3-of-16 from three-point range and committed 15 turnovers to Marian Catholic’s nine.
“I think we had a lot of opportunities and ways to stay in the game,” Rolling Meadows coach Ryan Kirkorsky said. “Some of it was transition defense, some of it was rebounding, some of it was our decisions of getting good offense when we needed to get good offense.
“We just weren’t consistent enough,” he added. “I felt like we were always fighting back. We had to do some junk things that we’re not really comfortable with and they were able to exploit that. So it’s a combination of that and not having great possessions when we needed to have them.”