If Marquette’s semifinal scuffle with Oregon-Davis was laced with caffeine, Saturday night’s title game was a tryptophan-induced affair. And while it wasn’t necessarily the most entertaining regional final contest in the state, it was equally as satisfying.
The Lady Blazers captured their second consecutive regional crown Saturday night following a 32-19 victory over North White at Caston High School in Fulton.
The play-by-play could’ve fit on a Post-it note.
Emma Nolan knocked down a jumper on Marquette’s first possession. The Lady Vikings proceeded to hold the ball for the next four minutes, then tied the game at 2-2 at the 3:21 mark. Marquette tallied the next four points before NW’s Maci Heimlich and Emmery Joseph traded three-pointers in the final 18 seconds. The Lady Blazers led 9-5 after one quarter.
North White remained content to keep things at a glacial pace, but it backfired when Marquette converted steals into baskets on the offensive end.
Morgan Crook fed Emma Nolan on the first trip down the court. Crook then splashed a three on a dish from Joseph midway through the period. Sophia Nolan fed Emma for a layup with a little over a minute to go in the half. And that was the complete rundown of the second-quarter scoring. Marquette led 16-5 at half after the defense pitched its 10th scoreless quarter of the season.
Emma Nolan converted a pair of free-throw attempts to open the second half, extending the Lady Blazer lead to 13 points – the widest margin at the time. The Lady Vikings recorded the next six to make it a seven-point tilt. Sophia Nolan restored order with a beautiful drive to the basket that gave Marquette a 20-11 edge entering the fourth quarter.
The pace ramped up to a Sunday stroll in the fourth quarter. Emma Nolan put the game on ice with six points down the stretch as the Lady Blazers outscored North White 12-8 in the last act to lock down the 32-19 triumph.
Emma Nolan led all scorers with 16 points while spearing five rebounds. Sophia Nolan registered six, Joseph dropped in five, Crook had three, and Marovich rounded out the scoring with two.
In addition to earning a berth in next Saturday’s IHSAA North Semistate contest, Marquette set a program record for wins in a season. The 25-2 Lady Blazers will face Tri-Central (16-10) next Saturday at Valparaiso High School at 12 pm CT.