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Basketball

High school girls basketball: Marengo, Marian Central set up rematch with regional semifinal wins

WOODSTOCK – Marengo sharpshooter Marissa Knobloch wasn't sure if she would be able to return from a left knee injury that ended the guard's senior night against Richmond-Burton prematurely Feb. 1.

An ACL tear to the same knee wiped out her freshman season, and the possibility of missing the postseason was daunting.

"Right away when it happened, I was so scared that I tore it again," Marengo's leading scorer said. "But after I went to the doctor, I knew I was going to be back. Even if he said I wasn’t, I was going to tell him, 'I'm gonna play.'"

Knobloch returned to action Tuesday and was back to her normal self, making four 3-pointers and leading the Indians with 16 points in a 53-27 win against 13th-seeded Woodstock in the first of two Class 3A Woodstock Regional semifinals.

The second-seeded Indians (23-6) move on to face No. 7 Marian Central (12-16) in the regional final at 7 p.m. Thursday. The Hurricanes beat No. 10 Chicago Northside, 59-20, in the second semifinal.

Both Marengo and Marian jumped out to quick starts in their victories. The Indians led, 18-4, against the Blue Streaks (6-25) after the first quarter, while the Hurricanes shut out the Mustangs (14-11), 25-0, after one quarter.

Knobloch had 10 points and three assists by halftime. Junior Jordan Parker had 13 points and eight rebounds, and Hannah Ritter tossed in 12 points and five assists for Marengo.

Parker had missed six games with a concussion and returned in the regular-season finale.

With the team back to full strength, she believes the Indians can go far. Marengo will have a chance for back-to-back regional titles Thursday,

"It’s awesome because we haven’t had that in a while," Parker said of playing at full strength. "It’s special to be all back together, especially for our seniors. I think we can do pretty big things."

The Hurricanes, who will go for their first regional title since 2013, already have beaten the Indians once this season, a 41-35 victory Dec. 22 at the Northern Illinois Holiday Classic.

"We're just really working well as a team," said sophomore Morgan Laudick, who scored eight points in the first quarter before the Hurricanes' starters were removed against Northside.

"It's hard to beat a team twice, but we definitely have the confidence to come in here and shut them down, just like we did in McHenry. We're going to look to be aggressive like we were today."

Molly Fitzgerald had a team-high nine points, Rhiannon Newsome had eight, and Amber Reynolds and Janelle Allen had six apiece for Marian.

Woodstock was led by Nichole Piquette with eight points against Marengo. Emma Brand had seven points, and Erin Lockwood added six points and nine rebounds.

"We saw them last week without Marissa, and it kind of put a different perspective in our eyes," Woodstock coach Collin Kalamatas said. "It was a little bit of a shock in the first half."

STAR OF THE GAME

Jordan Parker, Marengo, jr., F

Parker had 13 points and eight rebounds in her second game back from a concussion. 

THE NUMBER

0: Marian Central didn’t allow any points in the first quarter against Chicago Northside.

AND ANOTHER THING … 

Thursday’s Class 3A Woodstock Regional final is a rematch of the Northern Illinois Holiday Classic championship. Marian Central beat Marengo, 41-35, for the tournament title on Dec. 22.

Class 3A Woodstock Regional

Marengo 53, Woodstock 27

MARENGO (53):Knobloch 6 0-0 16, Heinberg 1 1-2 4, L. Aubry 1 0-0 2, Ritter 5 1-1 12, Parker 5 3-4 13, Haeflinger 1 0-0 2, Faber 2 0-0 4. Totals: 21 5-7 53.

WOODSTOCK (27):Brand 2 2-2 7, Bogott 2 0-0 4, Lockwood 3 0-0 6, Piquette 3 0-0 8, Orndahl 0 2-2 2. Totals: 10 4-4 27. 

Marengo 18 13 22 0 – 53

Woodstock 4 6 11 6 – 27

3-point goals:Marengo 6 (Knobloch 4, Heinberg, Ritter), Woodstock 3 (Piquette 2, Brand). Total fouls:Marengo 4, Woodstock 7. 

Marian Central 59, Chicago Northside 20

MARIAN CENTRAL (59):Reynolds 2 0-0 6, Laudick 4 0-0 8, Dineen 2 1-2 5, Allen 2 0-0 6, Santopadre 0 0-2 0, Hoover 2 0-0 5, Miner 2 0-0 4, Kelly 1 0-0 3, Thomas 1 1-2 3, Newsome 4 0-0 8, Fitzgerald 4 0-0 9, Hogel 1 0-0 2. Totals: 26 2-6 59.

NORTHSIDE (20):Yamin 5 2-4 14, McManus 1 0-0 3, Adetunji 1 0-0 3. Totals: 7 2-4 20.

Marian Central 25 5 12 17 – 59

Chicago Northside 0 8 7 5 – 20

3-point goals:Marian Central 5 (Reynolds, Hoover, Kelly, Fitzgerald), Northside 4 (Yamin, McManus, Adetunji). Total fouls:Marian Central 10, Northside 4.

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