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MICHIGAN CITY — It's been a seismic shift for Mackenzie Marovich from her freshman season until now.

When she came to Marquette Catholic, the program had won a total of nine games in its previous five years.

Her freshman season, the Blazers went 9-15 under Rob Barron and her sophomore year, they went 24-3 with a sectional title under another new coach in Jerry Bechtold. The following two seasons, with current head coach Katie Collignon, the team has went 44-8 and are now ranked No. 1 in Class A.

"This has been exciting because I came to a school not really expecting to do a lot with basketball, because I knew the team wasn't very strong," Marovich said. "Being able to go from nine wins to over 20 shows a lot of determination and not just from me, because I couldn't do any of this without everyone else. That shows great this school is and how great these coaches are.

"It's truly a family here and having everyone behind us has made basketball even more exciting. It's an honor to be a part of this program now and I didn't think we'd ever get this much publicity about our team. I never expected us to be on the map like we are now."

Clearly, it's been quite the roller-coaster ride for the four-year stater.

"It's definitely had its challenges. I'm not gonna lie," Marovich said of having three coaches in four years. "I think at the same time, I've been very fortunate to learn from three pretty amazing coaches, and that's not something every player gets to say. I think you truly form as a basketball player when you hit high school, and I've been fortunate enough to learn from three great people."

Marovich has since taken aspects of composure and respect, patience on the offensive end and defense from each of her coaches, forming her into who she is now.

"All my coaches have not only taught me how to be a better basketball player, but a better person," she said. "You learn who you're going to be in high school heading into college because you're going to be independent there. They've all taught me how to be a good person as well as a good student-athlete."

While the senior guard has seen her points per game drop in each season, it's been no issue as the wins have continued to stack up.

"As I grew and met different coaches, I learned my role isn't just to shoot, it's to drive, pass and make big, tough plays," Marovich said. "It's not about me, but it's about my teammates and if I shoot all the time, that doesn't get us anywhere. I'm going to pass up an open shot if my post is working hard on the block because she has the higher percentage shot."

Shooting has always been Marovich's niche with 92 career 3s, but Collignon spoke more of how she's grown more into a complete basketball player.

"She's definitely still a great shooter for us but she also does a great job of seeing the floor and getting the ball where it needs to go. She attacks the basket well," Collignon said. "Defensively was probably the biggest change for her because we play a much different defense than she was used to and again, she's done a great job because she's very coachable. She stays focused and she's cognizant of her defense even during a game and she knows what we're looking for."

Marovich talked about how as a sophomore, she helped then incoming freshmen with things such as time management when it comes to basketball and school. As one of two seniors, it's been huge for Collignon to have someone like "Mac".

"Mac is definitely a leader on this team," Collignon said. "She believes in this team so much and really cares about her teammates and they all know that. She's just such a genuine kid and has great energy and the other girls take that from her. She loves the game and loves her teammates and that's huge to have on our team to have a senior care about your teammates, program, school and she passes that on every day."

Heading into Satujrday's regional, the eyes continue to remain on the big prize.

"I hope so, I really hope so," she said of getting to state. "It's one step at a time, though. We're gonna get everyone's best game, but that's what we want because it makes us earn it even more. We have to take it one game at a time. I don't wanna get too ahead of myself or look too far ahead, because it can be gone in an instant but overall, I really hope to be playing in Indy at the end of February."

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Sports Reporter

CJ grew up shadowing his father, Jim, at various prep events and now follows in his footsteps as a sports reporter at The Times. A Purdue University graduate, his allegiances lie with the Boilermakers, Cincinnati Bengals and Cincinnati Reds.