Big 3rd Quarter + Defense + Stoewer = Cougar Win
The #9 ICC women’s basketball team used a 19-0 run in the 3rd quarter to pull away for an 87-56 win over Lewis & Clark on Wednesday evening at Ramsey Gym. The Cougar defense held the Trailblazers to 30% field goal shooting (19-63) while Summer Stoewer had a game high 21 points led the way on the offensive end and got help from Courtney Heffren (14 points), Maia Marshall (13 points), and Maia Marshall (10 points), and Josi Becker (7 assists). With the win, the Cougars are the regular season Midwest Conference Champions for the 2nd year in a row and collected their 11th consecutive win.
End of 1st quarter: ICC 22, L&C 19
Courtney Heffren had 3 steals in the opening minutes that led to a layup of her own, a Stafford layup (assist Ayanna Gibbs), and a Stoewer score. Marshall and Sh’coria Metts gave a boost as they combined for nine points, but the Trailblazers nailed four treys in the quarter to stay close.
Halftime: ICC up 42-35
The Cougars opened up a 28-21 lead as Becker hit a jumper (assist Stafford), Heffren drove to the hoop, and Gibbs added four points but the Cougar offense stalled, allowing the Trailblazers to draw to within 33-31 with 3:15 to play. The Cougars regrouped after a time out and Marshall, Stoewer, and Heffren combined for scores to put ICC up 40-33. Marshall scored on a layup just before the buzzer after a Stoewer steal and assist to give ICC a seven point halftime lead.
End of 3rd: ICC up 71-45
ICC got scores from Stafford and Stoewer (assists Becker & Gibbs) in the first two minutes but L&C answered with baskets to make the score 44-39. And then the Cougar defense tightened, holding the Trailblazers scoreless for the next five minutes, while the offense exploded, catapulting ICC on a 19-0 run. Stafford, Heffren, Gibbs, Becker, and Metts all contributed scores and Becker did the assist-dishing to put ICC up comfortably 63-39. Stoewer added a three-pointer (assist Jordyn Hare) and another jumper to put ICC up 68-45. Ariana Washington had the shot of the night as she corralled a defensive rebound with :04 seconds left and then tossed up a shot four feet beyond the half court line that swished in at the buzzer!
Washington got a steal on the first possession that led to a nifty behind-the-back pass from Stoewer to Metts for a layup and Washington followed that up with another layup (assist Marshall). Heffren, Marshall, Stafford, and Moriah Ward added scores for the final margin.
Game goals met:
Opponent doesn’t score on last possession of quarter
Shoot 70% from FT line
Blue Crew win scoring & rebounding (30-18, 13-10)
Win 3 of 4 quarters (won all 4!)
Opponent less than 30% from 3pt line: (5-18 for 27%)
Leading guard rebounder: Stoewer 5
Leading post rebounder: Gibbs 6
Becker (7 asts, 6 pts) Hare (2 reb, 2 ast) Ward (4 reb, 3 pts) Washington (7 pts) Stoewer (21 pts, 5 reb, 3 asts, 3 stls) Stafford (10 pts, 3 reb, 2 asts) Marshall (13 pts, 2 reb) Metts (7 pts, 4 reb) Heffren (14 pts, 5 stls, 3 reb) Gibbs (6 pts, 6 reb, 2 blk, 2 stl)
Next up: The Cougars, now 23-6 overall, 9-1 in Region 24, 9-0 in MWAC, will play their final regular season game at John Wood (Quincy) on Saturday at 1:00 pm. Live-stream will be available at johnwoodblazers.com or Alex will have audio at mixlr.com/AlexStaab.
Other: The Monroe Elementary School 7th grade girls’ basketball team was recognized at halftime for their 3rd place finish at the 7A IESA State Tournament.