Marengo senior guard Marissa Knobloch modeled her basketball game after her older brother, Zach, a prolific scorer and deep threat who etched his name in the IHSA record books with the third-most 3-pointers in state history.
Marissa Knobloch displayed the same range of her brother, surprising opponents with a quick and accurate shot. The Indians' sharpshooter wasn't afraid to drive it, either, and often put her body in harm's way for a higher-percentage shot.
Knobloch notched school records with 40 points and 10 3-pointers in an 84-45 win over Hoffman Estates on Dec. 17. Her 10 3s is a school record for boys or girls – beating Zach's mark of nine. She led all area players at 19.8 points a game and passed 1,000 points in her career, making an area-high 81 3s.
Knobloch helped the Indians to one of their best seasons at 24-7, and they won back-to-back regional titles for the first time since 1996 and 1997. Marengo shared the Kishwaukee River Conference championship with Burlington Central, its first conference title since 2012.
For her accomplishments, Knobloch was chosen as the 2019 Northwest Herald Girls Basketball Player of the Year by the sports staff with input from area coaches. She's the first Indians player to win the award since Sara Ettner Glakas in 1997.
Knobloch will play next year with the NCAA Division II Indianapolis Greyhounds and team with local graduates Emma Benoit (Hampshire), Katie Sowa (Cary-Grove) and Liz Alsot (McHenry) in the Great Lakes Valley Conference.
Sports writer Alex Kantecki recently spoke with Knobloch about pregame superstitions, beating Burlington Central, what she's looking forward to the most at the next level and more.
Is there any significance to your uniform No. 25?
Knobloch: My brother (Zach) wore it, and he’s like my role model. I’ve always looked up to him, so I wanted to wear it, too.
Which one of you teammates really inspires you?
Knobloch: This is a tough one. They all do. I’d say Hannah Ritter the most. She always puts the team and everyone before her first.
If you could have any vehicle, what would it be?
Knobloch: A Model T.
Which professional athlete would you like to hang out with for a day?
Knobloch: (Golden State Warriors guard) Stephen Curry.
What was your favorite game this season?
Knobloch: The Burlington Central game at Burlington (a 68-52 win). Everybody played amazing. It was just super fun.
Do you have any superstitions or rituals before you play?
Knobloch: Before every game, I eat a peanut butter and jelly (sandwich) about two hours before tip. As we're getting off the bus, I have a walk-up song I play. It’s been the same song since sixth grade ("Donald Trump" by Mac Miller).
What’s your favorite kind of ice cream?
What sport that you don’t play would you be good at?
Knobloch: Maybe hockey. I think it’s just an aggressive sport, and I’m pretty good at skating. It would be a lot of fun.
What would you change about your sport?
Knobloch: Having to tuck in your jersey.
What would be your dream job?
Knobloch: I would like to work with professional athletes in some way.
If you had one last meal to eat, what would be included?
Knobloch: Spaghetti and meatballs, breadsticks and chocolate ice cream.
Which musical act would you most like to see in concert?
Knobloch: Elvis Presley.
Who is your biggest influence?
Knobloch: My brother, Zach. Everything he does just pushes me to be better.
What sports moment was so huge, you’ll always remember where you were when it happened?
Knobloch: The Chicago Cubs winning the 2016 World Series.
What was one of the most embarrassing moments of your career?
Knobloch: Probably just any shot that I missed really bad.
Which teammate really makes you laugh?
Knobloch: (Senior forward) Erin Haeflinger. She makes jokes all the time when we’re playing. I’ll just look over and she’s laughing, and it makes everyone start laughing.
What is your most memorable moment playing basketball?
Knobloch: Winning the regional championship last year against Burlington Central.
What is your favorite and least favorite class?
Knobloch: My favorite is history, and my least favorite is English. My English teacher is probably going to read this and get mad at me.
What’s your biggest pet peeve?
Knobloch: When people are walking really slow in front of you and you have no way to get around.
What are you looking forward to most at Indianapolis?
Knobloch: I think just being with a new team, it will be fun to create new relationships with everybody and be able to challenge myself more at the next level, getting better every day.
What will you miss most about Marengo?
Knobloch: All of my friends. It will be weird not seeing them every day.