ALTON - After going to public school all her life, senior Payton Patterson didn't know what to expect coming into Marquette Catholic High School.

"I came into Marquette going to a public school and I didn't know anybody coming into a private school," she said. "It didn't take me long to have friends, and when I came in here I met some of my best friends."

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It helped that she decided to go out for three sports during her freshman year. That's a sure way to make some new friends.

She went out for volleyball which she played her freshman and sophomore years, basketball which is what she'll continue to play at Lewis and Clark Community College, and soccer which she has played all three years up to this point.

Basketball being her preferred sport, she always knew she wanted to try and continue playing it.

"I wanted to play basketball in college for so long. I finally worked toward a scholarship and got one," she said.

Patterson is a Tucker's Automotive Repair & Tire Female Athlete of the Month for the Explorers.

She had a few different options to choose from but she stuck with LCCC so that she could continue living at home, it was the more affordable option, and because she already has many friends that are Trailblazers.

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While at LCCC she will study to become a nurse.

Patterson can't wait to get things started.

"I'm mostly excited about playing with my team. Coming in and meeting new people and getting the opportunity to play at the college level, I'm very excited about it."

While moving on though she said she will miss the friends she has made at Marquette.

Through three years of playing soccer, she's scored a goal and assisted three others.

This season in basketball she's racked up 143 points through 23 games. Her Explorers are 13-10 this season.

"We started off a little rough but then we learned how to play as a team and got used to it. We're going good now," Patterson said.

She said that the goal is to go out and grab another regional title and maybe a little more.

The Explorers will be back in action on Saturday when they take on Jerseyville in the Carrollton Tournament.

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