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Tyler Ulis, of Marian Catholic, puts up a shot against Mount Carmel at Marian Catholic, Friday, December 7th, 2012, in Chicago Heights, IL. | Gary Middendorf~For Sun-Times Media
Rarely does a star basketball player have to be encouraged to shoot. So when Tyler Ulis finally did start shooting, No. 11 Marian Catholic turned the tide against Carmel in a 54-37 East Suburban Catholic win Friday night.
“I brought him over to the bench [at the beginning of the second quarter] and told him to quit looking to pass the ball and shoot,” Marian coach Mike Taylor said. “He was dribbling the ball too much and they just laid off of him.”
Ulis took the brief benching and message to heart. He came back into the game and scored his first six points to change a two-point Marian deficit into a 20-16 lead. Ulis averages over 26 points per game but his floor game is that of a pure point guard who is looking to set up his teammates.
“They were a big team and they played hard,” Ulis said. “It was our defense and our rebounding that allowed us to come out with the win.”
It also was a large dose of Ulis at the end of the third quarter that broke the game open for Marian (7-1). The 5-foot-10 junior scored 10 of the last 12 points of the period to give Marian a 38-31 lead.
Ulis finished the night with 19 points.
“We knew they had some mismatches with us but we didn’t take advantage of them on the offensive end until the second half,” Taylor said. “I think we wore them down as well.”
One of those mismatches involved 6-foot-9 Jack George going against Ulis early in the game. George opened the game with six straight points on his way to 16 points and 10 rebounds.
Cullen Barr finished with 10 points for Carmel (4-5).