No. 1 in more ways than one
MICHIGAN CITY — With the first of two free throw attempts in the fourth period on Saturday afternoon at Michigan City High School, Marquette Catholic senior Sophia Nolan reached the peak of offensive production in Blazer history.
Her 31st point of the game pushed her past current Valparaiso forward Ryan Fazekas on the all-time Marquette scoring list with her 1,563rd point of her career, as the Class A No. 1 Blazers (5-1) rolled to their fifth victory in six games this season with an 85-50 blowout win over crosstown rival Michigan City.
Sophia’s twin sister Emma packed her own usual scoring punch with 29 points on 8-of-12 shooting, but the day belonged to Sophia, who almost outscored the Wolves (3-2) by herself through the opening three quarters (33-30) on Saturday and finished with 38 on the day.
″(I knew) because I looked at my dad and that’s how I knew I had the record,” Sophia said after her record-breaking performance. “It really felt amazing. I really have been wanting to shoot to 2,000 points because I really wanted to beat Ryan Fazekas. I always looked up to him when I was a freshman, so it was really cool.”
Blazers coach Katie Collignon gave her congratulations to the super senior after the game, noting not just how much work she’s put in over her four years at Marquette, but the quality of person she’s become during her time in high school.
“It’s always great when your best players are your hardest workers,” Collignon said after the win. “It’s been amazing so far. She’s evolved so much as a player. She’s added so much to her game. She can shoot the 3, dribble the ball and post up. She’s so versatile and so talented. It’s just a testament to her character and how hard she’s worked these past four years. I’m just so excited for her.”
Wolves coach Mike Megyese echoed Collignon’s comments on Sophia’s big moment, saying, “Congrats to Sophia. She’s a really good ballplayer and just a great kid. She deserved a good moment like this and I’m happy for her.”
Sophia was the best player on the floor from the opening tip to the final horn, scoring 22 in the opening two quarters to push the Blazers out to a 52-13 margin at the intermission. The Blazers came out red hot, scoring 33 of their 52 first-half points in the first eight minutes, including 14 of them in the opening three minutes of the contest.
“We lost to a really, really good team,” Megyese said. “I don’t know what it was and I’m not gonna make excuses, but I don’t think they’re 35 points better than us. I don’t know where we were at mentally, but it wasn’t here. But credit goes to Marquette. They’re really good and they showed it.”
Along with 67 of the Blazers’ 85 total points coming from the Nolan twins, the Blazers got a strong performance from the always-reliable Emmery Joseph, who canned a pair of triples in the first quarter in her 10-point, eight-assist performance to really get the visitors off and rolling in their 14-2 run to start the game.
“It’s huge,” Collignon said on having a floor general like Joseph on the floor. “We watched them play (on Friday night) and we thought they would probably play off her in the open floor, so we worked on her being ready to shoot and score and she did a good job of that for us. What an uplifting thing for us for her to start like that and have us thinking, ‘OK, this is gonna be a really good game.’”
Marquette 85, Michigan City 50
Sophia Nolan scores 38 and becomes Marquette Catholic’s all-time leading scorer in a 35-point rout of Michigan City on Saturday afternoon.