ALTON - Marquette Catholic's boys head basketball coach Steve Medford has high expectations for his 2021-2022 squad that appears loaded with talent. Marquette is off to a strong 3-1 start after the Roxana Hoopsgiving Tourney.

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“It’s exciting to get in front of the Blue Crew and some of the parents, kids, and the program," he said after a Marquette night to show off the new team. "We are a pretty young core of kids, most of our guys are juniors, a lot of sophomores, and only one senior who has been a consistent part of our program. We got two new incoming seniors and we’ll see what they contribute.”

“Our Blue Crew over the years has been awesome. They create a lot of excitement in a small environment such as our gym. That is what has made it a lot of fun having the Blue Crew. I went and talked to them before the game to tell them ‘Let’s bring it again this year!’. They bring it every year and definitely create that home-field advantage.”

Coach Medford said Owen Williams, already an all-tourney selection at the Roxana Hoopsgiving event, will be a key for his squad.

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“Owen Williams without question is a spectacular shooter, he can play, he’s smart, he’s heady, he’s aggressive, he’s a real nice player, and an even better kid," Coach Medford said.

“I think our culture has been an environment where it has been difficult for opposing teams to come in here. Over the years, we have been very successful in this gym because of the smaller gym, what the Blue Crew brings to the gymnasium, and the whole experience of playing the Explorers and their fans."

Coach Medford recognized there will be a lot of learning experiences for the players this season.

“This is a team that is going to grow," he said. "I think that is what you’ll expect from us. We will get better as a team as we get going here. We will also get better and better as the year goes on because last year was a shortened season and we had a young group of guys. This year, we’ve got some kids that we think are going to step up and play some big minutes.”

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