Marshall girls basketball coach Dorothy Gaters wasn't even sure if she was going to play Arkiarra Clark in the Class 3A Glenbard South sectional semifinals, but the decision to play the freshman really paid off.
Clark dropped 19 points -- 15 of them from behind the arc -- while teammate Juliunn Redmond had 16 points to help Marshall (23-7) defeat Glenbard South 57-46 on Tuesday in Glen Ellyn.
"She was a surprise," said Gaters, who picked up win No. 999. "She's a phenomenal shooter and she's only a freshman and she's only gonna get better. We've had some other issues with her and actually was not in the plans to play her at all, but it is what it is so we'll get through this season, but she has a bright future."
In the first half both teams went on 11-0 runs and relied on high-pressure defense to help force turnovers. Glenbard South's junior Sydney Bauman had 2 blocks and 4 points in the first quarter -- finishing with a team-high 15 points -- but Marshall fought back at the end of the first and start of the second quarter.
Redmond's 10 points in the first half and a late 3 by Clark helped the Commandos close the half only down 27-24.
"We gave up too many offensive rebounds and they shot 40 percent from the field," said Raiders coach Julie Fonda. "That's huge numbers and they didn't miss. (Clark) was not a girl we keyed in on and she lit it up tonight. You win some you lose some but unfortunately when you're in the playoffs you're one and done… . It's tough to swallow."
In the second half Marshall slowly started to reclaim the lead thanks to some forced shots and turnovers by Glenbard South (21-8). The Raiders weren't able to hit a 3-pointer in the final 16 minutes of play, while Marshall's Clark had 4 in the second half.
"It was just about hard-working effort, passing the ball around, getting back on defense and keeping self-control," Clark said. "It means a lot to me because I'm helping out my team on offense and defense and getting rebounds."
With a little more than three minutes to go in the game, Marshall had a 46-41 point lead over the Raiders, and though the Commandos closed out the game, Gaters wasn't happy about her team's performance down the stretch.
"I thought it was horrid," Gaters said. "We have a couple of seniors out there, but you can't identify them from the other kids. You just can't. So that's been a problem but hey, we're playing with house money now so we'll let it ride."