Teniya Page wasn’t looking to be aggressive at the start of the game.
But when the Marian Catholic junior pointguard decided to turn it up, so did her team.
Page poured in 19 points and added four assists, most of those to Ashton Millender, who finished with a game-high 22 points. The duo propelled thedefending Class 4A state champion Spartans to a huge third quarter en route to a 58-25 victory over Sandburgon Thursday night in the title game of the Class 4A Sandburg Sectional.
It was the 14th straight regional title for the Spartans and 18th in their history. They improved to 24-4 and advanced to the semifinals of the Bloom Sectional where they will play Lincoln-Way East, a 50-22 winner over host Lincoln-Way North, at 8 p.m. on Tuesday at Bloom Trail.
“I wasn’t looking to be aggressive early and had six turnovers,” Page said of her total in the game. “But the team told me not to worry about it. I know what I can do and I just had be aggressive starting in the second quarter.”
Sandburg (18-12) had an 8-0 run in the middle of the first quarter to take an early 8-4 lead. Sam Youngwirth scored six of her team-high 13 points in the run. But Marian regrouped in the final two minutes of the period, scoring the last six points to go ahead for good at 10-8 after one quarter.
Page turned it on alright in the second quarter,scoring 10 of her points.Leading 14-12, the Spartans ended the half on a 14-5 spurt. Millender had five pointsin the stretch and Page scored six, including hitting back-to-back jumpers from just inside the three-point line in the final 36 secondsfor a 28-17 lead at intermission.
Millender opened the second half with a three-pointer and Page converted a pair of turnovers into a three-pointer and a layup as Marian scored eight points in the first 55 seconds of the third quarter to increase the lead to 19 points.
“I got in that mind set,” Page said. “Then once they paid more attention to me, Ashton got rolling.”
Millender scored 13 points in the third quarter, including seven straight in a 14-0 run that ended the third and put the Spartans ahead 53-22.
“We always come out and talk about winning the first two minutes of the third quarter,” Millender said. “On defense we had to close out on their shooters and pick up the intensity.”
Kaitlyn Sedor scored seven points and Kauai Bradley added seven rebounds and five steals for the Spartans, who have won 11 in a row.
“It’s always very good to win a regional,” Millender said. “Stage one is complete. Now we want to build all the way to the top.”