Basketball

High school boys basketball: Marengo's Knobloch sets state 3-point record in win

Marengo's #20 Koty Kissack (left) and #25 Zach Knobloch take a moment during a 
game against Harvard during Class 3A Marengo Regional boys basketball at Marengo 
High School Tuesday, March 3, 2015.   Michael Smart / For Shaw 
Media
Marengo's #20 Koty Kissack (left) and #25 Zach Knobloch take a moment during a game against Harvard during Class 3A Marengo Regional boys basketball at Marengo High School Tuesday, March 3, 2015. Michael Smart / For Shaw Media

MARENGO — Zach Knobloch ran down the sideline, threw his hands into the air and looked up as if to yell at the heavens.  

It was a relief.

When Marengo’s junior guard curled off a screen set by forward Hunter Simonini on an inbounds play to hit a 3-pointer from the corner, it marked his 147th of the season and gave him quite the distinction. 

No player in the history of Illinois high school basketball has ever hit more 3s in a single season.

“It feels good that my name is going to be on there,” Knobloch said, “but it’s going to say Marengo, so that’s good for this town.”

Knobloch hit five 3-pointers on Tuesday night, increasing his season total to 148. The previous record was held by Princeville’s Aaron Long, who made 146 during the 2002-03 season.

“It’s like a load off my shoulders,” Knobloch said. “Everyone’s been saying something. Now it’s broken. Now we can focus on just taking care of business.”

The business Marengo hopes to take care of is that elusive regional title — something the program has not done since 2000.

But the top-seeded Indians inched a step closer to that goal with a 50-32 win over Harvard in Tuesday’s Class 3A regional semifinals. On Friday, they meet the winner of No. 2-seeded Woodstock and No. 3-seeded Marian Central, who tip off at 7 p.m. on Wednesday.

Against the Hornets (5-24), they fed it to Knobloch early and often, as he put up 10 points in the first quarter, including two from beyond the arc as well as a putback at the buzzer to give them a 16-4 lead after the opening eight minutes.

The ensuing quarter looked much of the same for Marengo (25-5). Knobloch got open looks. He failed to connect on several initially, though, many rimming out. 

“It was coming in the flow of the offense,” he said. “Coach said I had the green light. The rim was just messing with me.”

But in the waning minutes, before halftime, he caught a cross-court pass to hit No. 146 from the left wing, tying Long’s mark, and then on the subsequent possession, came the record-breaking trey from the corner. 

“He hit five, but we hit 11 as a team tonight,” Marengo coach Nate Wright said. “So we got a lot of kids who can shoot the ball and we got to take advantage of that down the stretch here. I think having one guy who can do it is great, but we have four, five or six guys who can get it done.”

Junior guard Craiton Nice also had nine points, hitting three 3-pointers as he started in place of Michael Volkening. Senior guard Weston Shepard had eight points, including two 3s.

At halftime, Marengo was up, 29-4, and Wright sat most of the starters in the third quarter.

The closest Harvard ever got in the second half was when it cut it to 31-16, forcing Wright to return most of those starters to the court.

They quickly built the lead back up to 20-plus points.

"When they dig that big of a hole, it's hard to get out of," Harvard coach Donnie Nolen said.

Game Ball

Zach Knobloch, Marengo, jr., guard

Knobloch became the new state record holder for 3-pointers in a season by hitting five-pointers en route to 20 points. He has 148 for the season, moving past Aaron Long's previous mark of 146.

The number

1: Marengo is one win shy of its first boys basketball regional title in 15 years.

The play

With about a minute to play in the second quarter, Knobloch hit a 3-pointer from the corner, his fourth of the game and his 147th of the season, to break the state record.

MARENGO — Zach Knobloch ran down the sideline, threw his hands into the air and looked up as if to yell at the heavens.  

It was a relief.

When Marengo’s junior guard curled off a screen set by forward Hunter Simonini on an inbounds play to hit a 3-pointer from the corner, it marked his 147th of the season and gave him quite the distinction. 

No player in the history of Illinois high school basketball has ever hit more 3s in a single season.

“It feels good that my name is going to be on there,” Knobloch said, “but it’s going to say Marengo, so that’s good for this town.”

Knobloch hit five 3-pointers on Tuesday night, increasing his season total to 148. The previous record was held by Princeville’s Aaron Long, who made 146 during the 2002-03 season.

“It’s like a load off my shoulders,” Knobloch said. “Everyone’s been saying something. Now it’s broken. Now we can focus on just taking care of business.”

The business Marengo hopes to take care of is that elusive regional title — something the program has not done since 2000.

But the top-seeded Indians inched a step closer to that goal with a 50-32 win over Harvard in Tuesday’s Class 3A regional semifinals. On Friday, they meet the winner of No. 2-seeded Woodstock and No. 3-seeded Marian Central, who tip off at 7 p.m. on Wednesday.

Against the Hornets (5-24), they fed it to Knobloch early and often, as he put up 10 points in the first quarter, including two from beyond the arc as well as a putback at the buzzer to give them a 16-4 lead after the opening eight minutes.

The ensuing quarter looked much of the same for Marengo (25-5). Knobloch got open looks. He failed to connect on several initially, though, many rimming out. 

“It was coming in the flow of the offense,” he said. “Coach said I had the green light. The rim was just messing with me.”

But in the waning minutes, before halftime, he caught a cross-court pass to hit No. 146 from the left wing, tying Long’s mark, and then on the subsequent possession, came the record-breaking trey from the corner. 

“He hit five, but we hit 11 as a team tonight,” Marengo coach Nate Wright said. “So we got a lot of kids who can shoot the ball and we got to take advantage of that down the stretch here. I think having one guy who can do it is great, but we have four, five or six guys who can get it done.”

Junior guard Craiton Nice also had nine points, hitting three 3-pointers as he started in place of Michael Volkening. Senior guard Weston Shepard had eight points, including two 3s.

At halftime, Marengo was up, 29-4, and Wright sat most of the starters in the third quarter.

The closest Harvard ever got in the second half was when it cut it to 31-16, forcing Wright to return most of those starters to the court.

They quickly built the lead back up to 20-plus points.

"When they dig that big of a hole, it's hard to get out of," Harvard coach Donnie Nolen said.

Game Ball

Zach Knobloch, Marengo, jr., guard

Knobloch became the new state record holder for 3-pointers in a season by hitting five-pointers en route to 20 points. He has 148 for the season, moving past Aaron Long's previous mark of 146.

The number

1: Marengo is one win shy of its first boys basketball regional title in 15 years.

The play

With about a minute to play in the second quarter, Knobloch hit a 3-pointer from the corner, his fourth of the game and his 147th of the season, to break the state record.

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