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Motion offense, fast-breaking offense, any and all.
Marian Catholic wants to play fast, faster and fastest.
The defending state champs opened the season Tuesday, the Spartans running their way to a 67-37 win over host Lincoln-Way East, giving first-year coach Dan Murray his first win.
“We obviously want to push the ball and flow into our offense,” Murray said. “We can be pretty dangerous when we’re in the open floor. We have to take advantage of our quickness and depth, and tonight we were able to do that.”
Ashton Millender had 19 points for Marian Catholic (1-0) with Jerell Matthews (15 points), Dajhae Mullins (13 points) and Kauai Bradley (3 points, 13 rebounds) contributing.
Kara Krolicki poured in 21 points, including four three-pointers, for Lincoln-Way East (0-1) in the loss. Jill Connolly had four points and five rebounds for the Griffins.
Already leading 22-12 through the first quarter, Marian turned to its Energizer Bunny off the bench for a boost, Matthews knocking down two three-pointers to go with a fast break bucket and an offensive put-back.
Whatever the team needs, Matthews is ready and willing to help.
“I want to come out and help the team, play my role, just go hard and strong,” Matthews said. “I want to contribute, score, play defense, whatever I can do.”
Matthews’ offensive outburst gave the Spartans a commanding 39-26 halftime advantage to extend the lead at the tail end of the third. Millender capped an impressive third quarter team performance, picking up her own blocked three-pointer and driving to the basket for a score at the buzzer.
“We weren’t that nervous coming out. It’s this year, not last year,” Millender said. “It’s a fun offense to play, screen and pass, keep moving and look for the open girl.”
Marian Catholic held a 53-33 lead through three quarters.
Lincoln-Way East finished 6-for-23 from three-point range with Krolicki shooting 4-for-13 from distance.
“It’s big coming in facing Marian because we see the points we need to work on,” Krolicki said. “They’re the best team in the state. We zoned out a little bit (in the second), and we can’t let that happen. With a good team, those runs aren’t going to stop.”