Lady Cougars Survive in 2 OT; Advance to Championship

The ICC women’s basketball team took the March Madness theme of “survive & advance” to the extreme, winning 73-66 in double overtime over Parkland in Region 24 semi-final action on Saturday afternoon, using clutch shooting and improved defense to overcome their 32% field goal shooting.  Summer Stoewer led the way with 27 points and 7 rebounds, while Ayanna Gibbs added a double-double (16 points and 11 rebounds), Moriah Ward just missed collecting a double-double (14 rebounds and 9 points), and Josi Becker had 11 points (6 in the second OT) to advance the Cougars to Sunday’s championship game.

End of 1st quarter:  Parkland 14, ICC 11

Both teams came out shaky as finding a flow was difficult due to the high volume of fouls called.  Gibbs scored the first six points to keep ICC even at 6-all midway through the period, but ICC managed only three free throws and a Camryn Stafford basket the rest of the period.

Halftime:  Parkland 28, ICC 24

Ward and Stoewer each scored to tie the game and Becker added a three-pointer but PC still held a 19-18 lead.  Stoewer hit a jumper and then got a steal and layup to put ICC up 22-19 but the Cobras answered with a 9-2 run to take the lead at recess.

End of 3rd:  Parkland 43, ICC 42

Ward converted an old-fashioned three-point play to start the half, followed by a Stoewer steal and assist to Maia Marshall for a layup, and then Stoewer added a basket to draw ICC back to a 29-all tie.  Stoewer splashed in a three-pointer (assist Courtney Heffren) and then Stoewer assisted on another Marshall layup, but the Cobras kept answering, leaving the score tied at 36-all.  Heffren hit two baskets and then assisted Ward on another hoop to draw ICC to within one.

Fourth quarter:  57-all

Stoewer connected on an old-fashioned three-point play followed by five points from Gibbs, but Parkland still held a 55-52 lead with 2:26 remaining.  Stoewer hit two free throws to draw ICC to within 55-54 and Ward had a huge blocked shot on the next Cobra possession, but ICC turned it over.  Parkland hit a layup to go up 57-54 but Stoewer splashed in a three-pointer from the left wing (assist Becker) with 1:04 left for a 57-57 tie.  The Cobras’ field goal attempt with :13 seconds left missed, as did the Cougars’ final three-point attempt, sending the game into overtime.

End of 1st OT:  61-61

The Cougars scored first as Stoewer hit a jumper (assist Ward) and then drove the paint and put-back her own miss for a 61-57 lead with 2:21 to go but Parkland answered with two field goals to make it 61-all with 1:12 left.  ICC turned it over on the next possession but forced a PC turnover with :33 seconds left; the potential game-winner for the Cougars went long, sending the game to a second overtime.

End of 2nd OT:

After 45 minutes of action, the Cougars finally got warmed up and looked like themselves.  Becker drove the baseline and was fouled, making both free throws, followed by a Gibbs’ steal and layup that put ICC up 65-61 with 4:02 left.  Becker hit a jumper from the free throw line to put ICC up 67-61, but Parkland answered to draw to within 67-63.  Ward collected a huge offensive rebound and put-back for a 69-64 lead, but Parkland again answered to draw to within 69-66.  Stoewer slashed to the hoop for a layup for a 71-66 lead and Becker added two more free throws for the final margin.

Game goals met:

Free throws:  20-24 (83%)