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Melanie Ransom scored only three points Saturday, but they were the biggest three points of the game.
Ransom’s three-pointer from the right side with 3:07 remaining in overtime gave No. 3 Marian Catholic (8-0) a 52-47 lead, and the Spartans held on to defeat Clyde Miller Career Academy of St. Louis (Mo.) 54-51 Saturday at the Chi-Town Showdown hosted by Whitney Young.
Ransom’s heroics came after Marian Catholic allowed Clyde Miller to come back from a 30-20 halftime deficit to force overtime on Abrelyn Rackley’s three-pointer from the left corner with 35 seconds remaining in the regulation.
“I just think we should have started out stronger [in the second half],” Ransom said. “We should have played how we wanted to finish the game. Our intensity…we weren’t talking, we weren’t communicating. We could have picked it up and been more intense as a team.”
And her three-pointer?
“It was open,” she said. “We needed points. You got to shoot. You can’t let the game get to you.”
Ashton Millender led Marian Catholic with 15 points, Teniya Page had 13 points and five assists, and Megan Walsh added 11 points and six rebounds before fouling out early in the fourth quarter. Foul trouble contributed to Marian Catholic’s second-half problems.
“The kids who went in the game…their confidence was hurt when they missed a layup or missed a free throw or missed a defensive assignment instead of just making the adjustments that they needed to make so they could contribute the way they can,” Marian Catholic coach Annie Byrne said.
“We’re much better than this,” she added. “If this was the best we could do, I would certainly be satisfied with this. It’s not. This is a very talented group. We need to be able to perform at a higher level. We got to do the simple things. If we do that, we’re a whole different team.”
Marian Catholic’s record might be a little different, too, if they hadn’t be ransomed by Ransom
“It’s got to be hard for a kid to learn a new system and have a lot of pressure on her as a senior,” said Byrne of Ransom, who transferred from Walther Lutheran. “This is her first year in the program. We’re expecting big things from her throughout the season.”
Zhanesha Dickerson had 17 points and Rackley added 12 for Clyde Miller (4-1), which was 14 of 18 from the free-throw line and outscored Marian Catholic 18-7 over the first 12 minutes of the second half to take its first lead since 5-4.
“We made too many mistakes to beat a team of that quality,” Clyde Miller coach Darren White said. “We had too many mistakes. Even when we came back, we made mistakes at the end. We turned the ball over at the end and that cost us the game.”