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Spartans spear Dolphins


IMG_0087For a defending state championship team, Whitney Young played a dirty game against Marian Catholic in the Class 4A State Semifinal on Friday night.

The Dolphins (26-4) were shut down early by  Spartans’ defense, which was complemented by a defense-throttling game by junior guard  Ashton Millender (29 points).  Whitney Young showed frustration in the third period with 53 seconds left after two Dolphins players committed two technical fouls by mouthing off to referees once a call when the Spartans’ way.  Once Millender hit two of four free throws, a technical foul was called on Whitney Young coach Corry Irvin, who watched the rest of the game quietly from her seat on the sideline.

That’s the kind of night the team had offensively as All American Linnae Harper’s seven-point performance mimicked the Dolphins’ struggles.

“Defense is something that we hang our hat on,” said Marian Catholic head coach Annie Byrne.  “I thought Ashton played phenomenal defense on her.  She did a great job containing her and staying in front of her.”

The Spartans scored first in the game with a free throw by sophomore guard Kauai Bradley a minute and a half into the game.  After that, Bradley hit a layup and the Millender show began, giving Marian a 13-4 lead at the end of the first period as the Spartans would never trail nor look back.

“I knew that our team came out ready to play,” Millender said.

The Spartans, whose only loss this season came on December 28 to Rolling Meadows, look to win the Class 4A State Championship tomorrow night against the same nemesis at 8:15.

“We want revenge,” said senior forward Megan Walsh, who  finished Friday’s game with a game-high 15 rebounds. “We can take them.”

Photos by Mike Krebs/The Voice

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