FULTON — The Marquette Catholic student section started laying down in the bleachers with around four minutes left in its team's 57-25 win over Fremont on Saturday night.
That's probably because they were exhausted from watching senior guard Emmery Joseph's dribbling routine during warm-ups.
"No one's really ever asked me that before," Joseph said of what goes into the show. "It started around fourth or fifth grade and I just try to get a feel for the ball and sometimes my hands get hot or sweaty so it's just muscle memory."
While she doesn't think about the warm-up too much anymore at this point, she is admittedly methodical about one thing.
"I try to stand in front of the opposing team's bench to give them something to think about," said Joseph, who is averaging 5.2 assists per game.
Joseph didn't score a single point in the third straight regional win for the Class A No. 1 Blazers (25-2), but it didn't matter because she contributed on defense and the area assists leader recorded seven helpers.
Three of those assists came in the 18-point second quarter, all on 3-pointers from fellow senior guard Claire Salyer, who finished with 14 points, three boards and three steals.
"Emmery is wise beyond her years and is a true point guard inside and out," Marquette Catholic coach Katie Collignon said. "She does all the little things that you don't see in the stat book and this year she has been a lot better at outsmarting opponents and anticipating where the ball is going."
Fremont (17-9), who has searching for its first regional title since 1999, was stopped at seemingly every turn against the reigning Class A state champs, who won their ninth straight game.
The Blazers, who last lost on Jan. 12 to Chicago Simeon, allowed a minuscule three points in the first quarter and zero points in the third quarter.
Senior forward Sophia Nolan paced the Blazers with 16 points and added six boards, four assists, two steals and two blocks while Emma Nolan put up totals of 14 points, nine rebounds, three assists, two steals and three blocks of her own.
"They all make my job so much easier as a coach and to not give up a single point in the third was huge for us," Collignon said. "Everyone plays their role very well and that's what basketball is all about."
Joseph and company will face No. 4 Northfield (25-2) in the Class A Northern Semistate in either LaPorte or Logansport next Saturday.
"We know after last year we're going to get every team's best game, but the seniors wanna go out with a bang and make our coaches, student section and fans all proud," Joseph said.