The Spartan Star

The Student News Site of Marian Catholic High School

The Spartan Star

The Spartan Star

MCHS Men’s & Women’s Basketball Recap

Men’s Basketball:

The Marian Catholic Men’s Basketball team encountered a season filled with both triumphs and challenges during the 2023- 2024 campaign. Despite early foul trouble leading to a significant deficit against Brother Rice in the Thornton IHSA 3A Sectional semifinals, the Spartans displayed resilience with several second-half runs. However, they ultimately fell short, succumbing to a 72-56 defeat and ending their sectional contests at Thornton with a 4-1 record. Throughout the season, key players like James Bullock, Zack Sharkey, Jonah Weathers, and Kaleb Isom showcased their talents, contributing significantly to the team’s efforts. Despite the setback against Brother Rice, Marian Catholic had notable victories, including a convincing 57-38 win over Lemont in the Marian IHSA 3A Regional title contest. This victory propelled them to the Thornton Sectional semifinal against Brother Rice.

In the Marian IHSA 3A Regional semifinals, the Spartans dominated Chicago Brooks with a commanding 69-31 victory, further showcasing their strength and determination. Despite a loss to De La Salle in their regular-season finale, Marian Catholic’s performance throughout the season demonstrated their competitive spirit and potential for success. Under the leadership of Coach Rick Romeli, the team achieved milestones such as winning 20 games in his first season, highlighting the promising future of Marian Catholic basketball. As they reflect on the season’s highs and lows, the Spartans remain determined to build upon their successes and continue striving for excellence in the seasons to come.

Spartan STAR reached out to two key players in the team’s success to get their thoughts on the
season as a whole and this is what they had to say:

Zack Sharkey – “I have learned to mainly understand my role on the team, being one of the leaders of the team. I’ve learned that I have to take responsibility, correct my teammates, and hold them accountable, while also providing them with encouragement. I travel during the spring and summer, I also plan to train consistently to improve during the off-season, preparing for next year’s season. My goal individually was to gain more college interest, I have done so by receiving a few D1 interests and a D2 offer. My goal for the team was to win the conference and eventually make it to state. Though we didn’t achieve either, we learned a lot throughout the season and process while working towards those goals. We were very capable of both, and I believe that, but we fell short. A lot of attention was put on our team, whether it was being doubted, our ranking, our players, etc. Working through those times was actually pretty simple, my teammates and I knew and understood throughout the season it was us vs everybody. We stuck together and got through those challenging times together. I had a great time this season, I have built more relationships with the kids in my grade that moved up to varsity this year and I got to build upon those relationships I already had previously. We were always happy around each other and messing around, whether it was after practice, out to eat, etc. My favorite part of this season would definitely be being around the guys and spending time with each other as we also build success on the court. Handling situations involving pressure and high stakes involves a lot of preparation and confidence. Those of which my team and I all had.”
Women’s Basketball:

The Marian Catholic Women’s Basketball team embarked on a dynamic journey during the 2023/2024 season, marked by highs and lows. The Spartans demonstrated their prowess by clinching their third consecutive Elite Eight bid, with standout performances from key players like Madison Davis, Taylor Bolton, and Vesta Radziute. Despite a challenging loss in the Hinsdale South IHSA 3A Supersectional, where Marian’s offense struggled and foul trouble plagued them, Davis showcased her talent with an impressive 18-point contribution. However, the team’s efforts fell short as they faced cold shooting beyond the arc and were outscored at the charity stripe.

In contrast, Marian’s resilience shone through in other games, such as their victory over Chicago Butler in the Thornton IHSA 3A Sectional final, where Bolton’s late three-pointer and Davis’s clutch free throws secured their Elite Eight bid for the third consecutive year. Throughout the season, the Spartans exhibited their depth and versatility, as seen in their dominant performances against Thornton and Bremen, where they secured regional and sectional victories respectively.

With several key players returning next season, Marian Catholic remains determined to build upon their successes and pursue their fourth consecutive visit to the IHSA Elite Eight. As they reflect on the season’s achievements and setbacks, the Spartans are poised to continue their legacy as a formidable force in women’s high school basketball. Spartan STAR reached out to two key players in the team’s success to get their thoughts on the season as a whole and this is what they had to say:

Gracie Jensen– “One lesson I learned this season is that no matter what happens you will have a team surrounding you that will be there no matter what, I will carry this on through the rest of my basketball career because no matter what happens throughout the rest of my career I’ll always have my team by my side. I plan to continue my development by going to the gym in between softball to get some shots up or practice with friends and teammates. One team goal we had was to make it to state. Unfortunately, we fell short but we had an amazing season and made it to the elite 8 for 3 years in a row which was a huge success! I maintained my focus and motivation through my teammates, if something happened they were there to refocus me and help me out. Overall I became closer with the girls around me and loved being a part of a successful team!”

Madison Davis – “Our team had a very successful season going 28-8 this season and winning a sectional championship to make it to a third straight super sectional. I think the biggest personal accomplishment for me this year was winning the ESCC Player of the Year award. I think compared to last season I have improved my versatility on the court and also my leadership. Some of the challenges we faced as a team this year were some rough games where we didn’t come in fully focused. To overcome this we came together as a team and talked about our goals and what we wanted to accomplish and then our team focused on and started playing for each other and we saw a lot of success. I think two of the biggest games that stand out to me are when we beat Nazareth and when we won the sectional championship against Butler. Celebrating those games with the team was one of my favorite memories. When it came to handling high-stakes games or tough moments I trusted my teammates and also remembered how much work we put in. I knew our team worked way too hard and that we had the talent to play with any team and be a top team in the state.”

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