Undefeated Marian Catholic didn’t do anything better than Evanston’s girls basketball team Saturday night --- with one exception.
The Spartans outscored the Wildkits 21-5 at the free throw line, converting 21-of-36 chances, and earned a 50-46 victory at the Chicagoland Showcase shootout event hosted by Fremd High School.
The Wildkits weren’t up to the challenge of knocking off another unbeaten team for the second night in a row after toppling New Trier on Friday night, and slipped to 5-3 on the season. The losers only shot 27 percent (17-of-65) from the field.
“I knew with such a young team that the high of the way we played last night (versus New Trier) might contribute to a low today, but I didn’t think we’d go this low,” said Evanston head coach Brittanny Johnson. “We just didn’t play well. We needed someone to step up, and nobody did.
“Marian is a good team and probably the biggest team we play overall. But if someone had come to play for us tonight, we would have won this game. That was bad. In the games we’ve lost this year our defense has been non-existent, and tonight we didn’t talk or communicate or get back on defense. We can’t get away from being a defensive minded team.”
The Wildkits struggled all night when the Spartans (6-0) switched back and forth, and then back again, between their basic man-to-man defense and a 2-3 zone. ETHS only trailed 23-18 at halftime and 35-31 after three quarters despite a dismal offensive effort, and closed within 39-38 as SyAnn Holmes (10 points) and Kayla Henning (12) mustered a 7-0 run that narrowed the deficit with 4 minuts, 38 seconds remaining.
But Holmes misfired on a free throw that would have tied the contest after her last bucket, and the Wildkits only managed 3 field goals the rest of the way while the Spartans knocked down 7-of-13 at the charity stripe in that same span.
TaMia Banks added 10 points and 8 rebounds for ETHS. Kennedy Harrell paced the Spartans with 13 points.
Evanston travels to Glenbrook South on Tuesday night to face the Central Suburban League South division favorites at 7 p.m.
Dennis Mahoney is sports information director for ETHS.