The regional championships continue to pile up for the Marquette Catholic boys’ basketball team.
Last winter, the Explorers won their fifth regional crown in the last seven seasons, four of them under coach Steve Medford. Marquette beat Roxana 48-45 in overtime during the Class 2A Dupo Regional title game.
“We’ve had some good success,” Medford said. “The kids expect to win. This is the fourth win out of the last six years ... It’s always exciting when you win a regional championship and I think we’re looking for bigger and better things this year.”
Seniors Bryce Pettiford, Nick Messinger, Brady McAfee and Jeremy Strebel and junior Reagan Snider are among the top returning players from last year’s team, which finished 21-10.
Marquette also has a couple of transfers, juniors Jacob Hall and Sammy Green. Hall and Green transferred from Collinsville and Edwardsville, respectively.
The Explorers begin their season on Nov. 21 at the 36th Annual MELHS Turkey Tip-Off.
The Explorers will look to get back on the winning track in Lee Green’s first season as head coach.
Marquette finished 13-15 and lost in the second round of the Class 2A Dupo Regional last winter. The program hasn’t had a winning record since the 2012-13 season.
“I know they haven’t had a winning record in several years, so our expectations are to get better every day in practice from game to game and show improvement in each game,” Green said. “Hopefully we’ll play our best basketball by the end of the year going into regionals.”
The Explorers started their season on Monday with a 50-37 loss to Columbia in the first round of the Columbia Tip-Off Classic. They were scheduled to play New Athens in the consolation semifinals on Wednesday.
Seniors Kelsey Blasingim and Madi Connors and juniors Taylor Aguirre, Lila Snider, Lauren Fischer and Peyton Kline are the returners from last year’s team.
Marquette is having bowling for the first time this year.
The Explorers have 16 bowlers — eight boys and eight girls — and most of them are bowling for the first time.
Juniors Cameron Rainey, Chris Hellrung and Luke Simmons, sophomore Colin Everitt and freshmen Nick Hamm, Connor Dalton, Jaylen Bey and Jake Gatermann make up the boys’ squad. Senior Clair Chappee, juniors Shelby Jones, Heidi Amberg and C’Mara Barrett, sophomore Michayla Jacobs and Mera Parker and freshman Kaitlyn Byrne comprise the girls’ team.
Mark Jones is the head coach and is assisted by John Reilly.
The boys’ team began its season with a fourth-place finish at the Alton Round Robin Tournament in Bowl Haven on Nov. 11.
Marquette boys’ and girls’ teams will have a match against Triad on Nov. 28 at Camelot Bowl in Collinsville.