By Doug Halberstadt
The Rock Valley Women’s Basketball team was ranked as high as second in the nation this season. They entered last Saturday night’s (Feb. 26) National Junior College Athletic Association Region IV Division III Championship game against the Joliet Junior College Lady Wolves with a record of 24-7. The Lady Wolves came into the game sporting a 16-17 record.
The two teams had split their two previous meetings this season. The Lady Golden Eagles beat Joliet at home 78-61 back on Jan. 25, and then lost in Joliet 83-66 Feb. 17.
This showdown was not only for the region championship, but also on the line was a trip to Rochester, Minn., to play in the NJCAA Division III Women’s Basketball Nationals.
RVC led by 2 points at the half 34-32, and things looked as though a trip to Rochester might only be half a basketball game away.
Things don’t always work out as planned.
After coming out of the locker room to begin the second half, Joliet got hot and RVC went cold—ice cold.
After hitting 8 out of 9 (88.9 percent) free throw attempts in the first half, the Lady Eagles made only 7 out of 20 (35 percent) free throws down the stretch. That, combined with a 12-32 (37.5 percent) effort from the field in the second half, proved to be the difference-maker in the game. Joliet sank some crucial free throws in the waning minutes to claim a 10-point win, 77-67.
Cierra Morris and Nicole Plum from Rock Valley were named to the All-Tournament team, along with Sarah Kellermeyer from Harper College and Ashley Shelby and Dominique Carr, both from Joliet.
Doug Halberstadt can be reached via e-mail at Dougster61@aol.com.
From the March 2-8, 2011, issue