Bay Ridge

Fontbonne star has a December to remember 

January 10, 2023 Jim Dolan
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Sophomore Noelle Polanco has not skipped a beat and is on track for another 300-point season.

Last season Polanco scored 305 points to break Fontbonne’s all-time freshman scoring record and was named to the All League Team. This season she has already scored 156 points and is averaging 17 points over her first nine games, with 11 games left.

The 5-foot-10 point guard performed especially well on the road in December, scoring 23 points against St. Dominic’s on Long Island and 26 against Moore Catholic in Staten Island.

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“I think we’re looking at another 1,000-point scorer,” said Fontbonne team manager and statistician Will Fiore before a recent game against Notre Dame in Staten Island. It wasn’t too long ago that Fontbonne’s first-ever 1,000-point scorer, Katie Marquardt (Class of 2018), went on to play for Molloy College on a scholarship and to study nursing.

For Polanco, the apple does not fall from the tree. Her mother Maryann was also a four-year varsity player (1986-1990) at St. Edmund’s Prep and steered her daughter down the competitive road of basketball. Coincidentally, Polanco’s grandmother Maryann McNicholas Dean was a member of Fontbonne’s 1959 accelerated graduating class. Although she did not play high school sports, Mrs. Dean recalled that she and her classmates were big basketball supporters.

Except for the new three-story academic building and cafeteria, Fontbonne is just as Dean remembers it.

“Back then girls pretty much had three options after graduation,” Dean said. “It was either go on to school for teaching, become a nurse or go to work.”

For Dean, it became necessary to go to work as a secretary for a paper company in Manhattan’s Woolworth Building since her family needed the financial help.

Watching her granddaughter on the court, Dean proudly said, “It’s really gratifying to come back and see how well Noelle’s doing at Fontbonne. Playing the way she does is a real gift and a joy to watch.”

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