Six in a row; there’s no drought at Marquette
WINAMAC — “There’s no drought by the lake!”
Marquette Catholic was doing team pictures Saturday night after its latest boys basketball sectional championship when coach Fred Mooney paused to point out two reporters conspicuous by their presence at the Class 2A final and exclaim the phrase.
The words were written in another publication a few years ago in reference to the post-season travails of the Blazers’ public school neighbors back in Michigan City, but were taken as an affront over on 10th Street, where Marquette has piled up hardware on an annual basis for six years now.
“You can put that in print. Look what’s happened at Marquette,” said Mooney, who is in his eighth year at the school and his second as head coach. “There’s no drought.
This is fun. Our first two years, we lost to Triton by one. It’s been a pleasure. It’s been quite the journey.”
Colin Kenney was a freshman in the 2015-16 season, arriving on campus on the heels of the school’s back-to-back state finals appearances. He gained a varsity role along the way that year, a complementary player on a squad of veterans. The game, not to mention the facial hair, have come a long way.
“Obviously, it’s crazy,” Kenney said. “To look back thinking it’s been four years, it’s been a blessing to have won a sectional every single year. Not a lot of people can say that. It’s awesome to be a part of it, a great feeling. I remember playing at that sectional at Knox as a freshman. I was in more of a distributor role for that team. I got to play under some guys that year with a lot of experience from the state run. Their composure, their poise kind of rubbed off on me. They were always under control, cool and collected, and I embraced it as well.”
A year later, he became the team’s alpha dog, almost willing them to a semistate win on a badly sprained ankle, and the success, both team and individual, has continued for Marquette’s most prolific bucket-getter.
“Colin got put in the lineup maybe one-third of the way, halfway through his freshman year,” Mooney said. “That was his opportunity. I tell young people all the time, opportunities don’t go away, they just go to the next person who is going to take advantage of them. He took advantage of the opportunity and never stopped working. His work ethic takes him to the place he’s at today. He’s going to finish strong at Marquette and become a very good player for Furman University.”
His lifelong friend and teammate, Joe Andershock, was a JV player as a freshman. He moved into the rotation the following season and has been a three-year mainstay.
“Joe’s another kid I feel hasn’t come close to reaching his basketball ceiling,” Mooney said. “He has a lot of basketball in front of him. He’s a really good shooter, he has decent handles for 6-foot-7. He has a good skill set. Joe’s going to be in the running for class clown in the locker room. He keeps guys loose. He brings a lot of energy and is a fun kid to coach. He also has a great future ahead of him.”
Andershock, who will play at Holy Cross, had a view that first postseason from the end of the bench, but it was no less impactful on his future.
“I learned what it takes to win,” he said. “These are tough games when they’re really close together. You really have to get your mind and your body back. You’ve got to recover quick. It means a lot. I’m just really lucky to be a part of Marquette. I don’t know the numbers, but I’m really proud of my teammates that we did it. Our backs were against the wall the most with this one. This one wasn’t tougher, but I feel it revealed more of our character.”
While finishing off the career sectional grand slam will be something for the Marquette hoops history book, Andershock doesn’t see it as the punctuation mark on his time with the Blazers.
“I think we have a pretty good shot,” he said of Saturday’s North Judson Regional. “We’re all seniors. Our experience will help us a lot. I’m not satisfied at all. We wanted to win this, but we have had our eyes set on Indy from the beginning of the year.”