Women’s Basketball Regional Tournament Game Highlights
Regional Tournament Game #1: Quarter Final vs. Danville Area
The ICC women’s basketball team overcame a slow start to overwhelm Danville Area Community College 90-46 in the opening round of the Region 24 women’s basketball tournament at Parkland College in Champaign on Friday. The Cougars dished out 28 assists to score 36 baskets and placed four players in double figures while holding DACC to 27% field goal shooting on the afternoon.
Brianna Henson came out strong as she scored on three layups (assists Brandi Fier) and Bailey Larsen added an old-fashioned three-point play to help ICC get on the scoreboard early, as the Cougars took a 9-8 lead. The Jaguars held steady, however, and took an 18-16 advantage at the end of the first quarter. Fier and Sommer Burgard turned the tide to begin the second period, with Fier ratcheting up the defense and Burgard turning on her offensive light switch to give ICC the boost they needed. The Cougar defense forced five straight DACC turnovers ( a total of 8 in the quarter) to ignite a 13-0 lead as Burgard drove to the hoop for three scores, while Fier made a layup and assisted Henson on a jumper and Larsen on a three-pointer to put the Blue & Gold up 29-18. Larsen nailed a trey, followed by three Henson baskets and a Fier layup to give ICC a 43-25 lead into halftime.
The Cougars played a zone defense most of the second half, while freshmen Krystal Walker, Kellyn Maynard, Jasmine Elliott, and Sydney McClintock pitched in to help with the scoring and give ICC the win.
Individual stats: Henson (19pts & 3 asts), Burgard (18pts & 9reb), Fier (12pts & 9 asts), Larsen (12 pts & 6 asts), Walker (8 pts & 2 asts), McClintock (8 pts), Meiss (6 pts & 5 reb), Maynard (9 reb & 5 pts), Elliott (5 reb & 2 pts).
Regional Tournament Game #2: Semi-Final vs. Lewis & Clark
The ICC women’s basketball team made just enough plays down the stretch to earn a 70-65 win over Lewis & Clark in the semi-finals of the Region 24 tournament on Saturday afternoon. The Cougars survived 21 turnovers by shooting 21-24 from the free throw line and 7-14 from three-point range to advance to the region championship game on Sunday afternoon.
Sommer Burgard and Brianna Henson combined for eight points in the opening minutes along with a Bailey Larsen three-pointer (assist Brand Fier) to put ICC up 11-8. Kellyn Maynard then ignited an 8-0 run, scoring on a layup in transition (assist Krystal Walker), followed by Fier, Burgard, and Serena Meiss baskets to give ICC a 19-8 lead. The Cougars then turned the ball over on the next five possessions, but managed a 19-10 lead after the first period.
Both teams struggled to score at the beginning of the second period, and after a Henson basket inside, the Trailblazers went on a 6-0 spurt to trim the Cougar lead to 21-18. Fier drained a three-pointer and two free throws that allowed ICC to close the half on a 9-3 run, with a Burgard basket and two free throws by Walker to put ICC up 30-21 at the half.
The third quarter was a battle of inside vs. outside, as the Trailblazers’ scored inside and ICC countered with an outside aerial show. Fier nailed a trey to keep ICC on track, and the Cougars were up 42-31 at the halfway point of the stanza. ICC got very careless with the ball, turning it over on five of their next eight possessions, but fortunately on the three possessions they did get shots, Larsen hit three long-range bombs to keep ICC ahead 55-45 heading into the final period.
ICC’s zone defense struggled bottling up L&C’s inside game, and following a Burgard basket and two free throws, the Cougars still held a double digit lead at 61-51 with 5:02 to play. That’s when things got interesting, as L&C turned up the pressure, going on a 7-2 run and cutting the lead to 63-58. The Trailblazers were looking for more on a drive to the hoop, but Fier drew a c harge that turned momentum, and then Larsen swished her fifth three-pointer of the game to put ICC up 66-60 with 1:30 left. Meiss, Larsen, and Fier iced the game with free throws down the stretch and give the Cougars the hard-fought win.
Game goals met: The Cougars only met two of their game goals, but if they were going to meet two, they were the right two, shooting 88% from the free throw line and taking not one but three charges!
Larsen (21 pts), Fier (15 pts, 4 asts), Burgard (14 pts, 6 reb), Henson (6 pts, 5 reb, 2 st), Meiss (6 reb, 4 pts), Maynard (4 pts), McClintock (2 pts), Elliott (2 pts), Walker (2 pts, 2 asts)
Regional Tournament Championship Game vs. Parkland College
The ICC women’s basketball team had their season come to a screeching halt at the hands of Parkland College on Sunday afternoon, falling 81-54 in the Region 24 championship game in Champaign. The Cougars were never in this one, as Parkland torched the nets for five three-pointers in the opening quarter and shot a total of 10-19 from long-range, leading to ICC’s largest loss of the season.
Brianna Henson gave the Blue and Gold their only lead of the day as she scored on the first possession, only to have PC answer with a three-pointer and then take a 7-2 lead. Bailey Larsen hit a three-pointer to cut the deficit to 10-5, but the Cobras nailed three treys and closed the quarter on an 11-3 run to take a 21-8 advantage.
Henson hit a three-pointer to open the second quarter but Parkland answered with another three-pointer and an old-fashioned three-point play to make it 27-11. The wheels continued to fall off for ICC as they were down 42-17 at half. Even though the offense improved slightly in the 2nd half for the Cougars, their defense was non-existent, making it impossible for a comeback. ICC was down 58-36 at the end of the third, and any signs of a Cougar comeback were thwarted as PC opened the quarter on a 15-2 run, ending ICC’s season with a 25-7 record. Parkland will represent Region 24 in the NJCAA National Tournament March 21-25 in Harrison, Arkansas.
Final stats: Henson 14 pts, Maynard 10 pts, Burgard 9 pts, Walker 6 pts, Larsen 5 pts, Fier 5 pts, McClintock 3 pts, and Meiss 2 pts.
All-Region honors were handed out following the game with Brandi Fier and Sommer Burgard making the 1st team. ICC’s staff of Karrie Redeker, Dennie Hieronymus, Greg Martin, Stan Prosser, and Brady Garrett was named the Coaching Staff of the Year.
We would like to thank all of our families, friends, and fans for support throughout the season, as well as the ICC administration and support staff. We are certainly very appreciative for the opportunity to represent ICC as student-athletes and will continue to work hard in the classroom this semester.