Photo by Bill Roseberry
(Front from left) Elena Gable, Amber Robinson, Emily Holden, Caitlyn Hanlon and Elli Nicholson; (back from left) Allison Hoefert, Kali Segieda, Andria Pace, head coach Meagan Hanlon, Brittany Pace, Claire Snider and Kelsey Blasingim.
The Marquette Catholic Explorers will have a new captain to guide the ship this season.
Meagan Hanlon takes over the reins of the Marquette program from Larry Lowis, now an assistant coach for the boys’ basketball program.
Hanlon has previous experience as a junior varsity girls’ basketball coach at Marquette, as well as serving as head volleyball coach a year ago and JV volleyball coach this fall.
The Explorers were 12-12 in 2013-14 and Hanlon is looking to improve on that this season.
“We were 12-12 last year and I obviously want to beat that record,” Hanlon said. “We were 5-1 in the (Prairie State) conference, so it would be nice to be 6-0 in the conference.”
Marquette is a member of the Prairie State Conference with Bunker Hills, Nokomis, Metro East Lutheran, Mount Olive and East Alton-Wood River for basketball. EA-WR is new this season. Nokomis handed Marquette its lone league loss in ‘13-14.
Though the Explorers will be looking to replace a talented six-player senior class, which included leading scorer Abby Porter (12.5 ppg.), Hanlon thinks Marquette possesses intangibles to mold a solid squad this season.
“We have some pretty speedy girls, so we like to get down the court quick this year and get quick baskets and just work as hard as we can as a team,” Hanlon said. “I’ve actually coached all these girls (JV) for three years now, so some of them I’ve had since they were freshmen. They know how I work and I know how they work, and they work well together. It should be a good year.”
Senior guard/forward Claire Snider, 5-foot-9, returns with the most scoring prowess from a year ago at 2.7 ppg. She will look to lead the way alongside junior 6-1 twins Brittany Pace (1.1 ppg.) and Andria Pace (0.8 ppg.), junior Caitlyn Hanlon (1.5 ppg.) and senior Kali Segieda (1.6 ppg.).
“I have two 6-1 post players who are great shooters (Pace sisters), outside and inside, so I’m not too worried there,” Hanlon said. “Caitlyn Hanlon is a good ball handler and a good shooter, so as far as scoring points I don’t think we’ll have any problem with that.
“The girls last season were great basketball players and we will miss them, but I think we’ve got a really good group this year.”
As for the schedule, the Explorers began the season in the Columbia Tournament this week and will also have the Lebanon Holiday Tournament over the Christmas break and the Carrollton Invitational in January. The biggest non-conference matchups come with home-and-homes with Jersey and Breese Mater Dei and games vs. Civic Memorial, Roxana and Carrollton.
A renewed rivalry with EA-WR from the old South Central Conference is a welcomed addition, too.
“It’s nice to play teams like Wood River,” Hanlon said. “Even when they’re not in your conference, like Roxana is not in our conference, but they’re a local team and it’s fun to play them. Metro East and Bunker Hill are both local teams in the conference and Wood River is actually our first home game on Nov. 24. We look forward to that.
“Nokomis is always a good one. We’ve actually lost to them the last two years that I’ve been here, so we’d really like to come out and make that 6-0 in the conference and beat Nokomis.”
The goal for Hanlon and the Explorers is to just continue trending upward and with only three seniors, Snider, Segieda and 5-6 Amber Robinson, there will be plenty of youth cutting its teeth on the varsity court, too. Elena Gable, a 5-6 junior guard, Emily Holden a 5-5 junior guard, Elli Nicholson, a 5-5 junior guard and 5-7 junior forward Allison Hoefert look to be solid contributors off the bench.
“We have three seniors this year and they’ve all played varsity at some point,” Hanlon said. “Claire started varsity, so she’s got a lot of experience to help everybody out, but the other two got varsity time last year so they’ll help us out. We’re just looking for a great year and a good record overall.”
Marquette opened the Columbia Tournament with a 48-25 loss to Waterloo. They faced Gibault at 6 p.m. Wednesday and are back in action Saturday in Columbia.
MARQUETTE EXPLORERS GIRLS’ BASKETBALL SCHEDULE
Nov. 22 – vs. TBA
Nov. 24 – vs. EA-WR*, 7:30 p.m.
Nov. 25 – vs. Gillespie, 7:30 p.m.
Dec. 1 – vs. Litchfield, 7:30 p.m.
Dec. 8 – vs. Hillsboro, 7:30 p.m.
Dec. 11 – at Jersey, 7:30 p.m.
Dec. 18 – at Bunker Hill*, 7:30 p.m.
Dec. 20 – vs. Civic Memorial, 11 a.m.
TBA – Lebanon Tournament, TBA
Jan. 6 – at Carrollton, 7:45 p.m.
Jan. 8 – at Nokomis*, 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 12 – at Breese Mater Dei, 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 15 – at Mount Olive*, 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 17 – vs. Jersey, 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 20 – at MELHS*, 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 22 – vs. Roxana, 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 24-31 – Carrollton Invitational, TBA
Feb. 5 – vs. Breese Mater Dei, 7:30 p.m.
* Denotes conference games
MARQUETTE EXPLORERS GIRLS’ BASKETBALL ROSTER
Coach: Meagan Hanlon
Record last season: 12-12
Career record at school: 0-0 (1st year)
Claire Snider, 5-9 G-F
Amber Robinson, 5-6 G
Kali Segieda, 5-10 F
Caitlyn Hanlon, 5-8 G-F
Andria Pace, 6-1 F
Brittany Pace, 6-1 F
Elena Gable, 5-6 G
Allison Hoefert, 5-7 G-F
Emily Holden, 5-5 G
Elli Nicholson, 5-5 G
Kelsey Blasingim, 5-7 F
A 6-1 junior, Brittany Pace looks to be a solid inside presence along with her twin sister, Andria, for the Explorers in 2014-15. As a sophomore, Brittany averaged 1.1 ppg. in 19 games for Marquette.
Andria Pace will form a dynamic duo inside for the Explorers with her 6-1 twin sister, Brittany. Andria chipped in 0.8 ppg. in 23 games as a sophomore, but looks to be leaned on for a lot more offense in ‘14-15.