Lackluster second half leads to loss against Skyhawks


IVCC’s Kyle McLendon (21 purple) is fouled by Adalberto Garcia of Sauk Valley (21 white) during a layup attempt on Jan. 19. The Eagles lost the game 86-68.

Josh Dillon, IVLeader Sports Editor

Down only three points at the half, the Eagles men’s basketball team had to put together a good second half to compete for a win at Sauk Valley Community College on Jan. 19. The game followed the pattern of the season thus far as the team couldn’t muster the momentum, eventually losing the game 86-68.

The game didn’t lack its high points however, as there were a few rallies including a big dunk by Michael Murray to finish off a layup attempt by Nathan Ropp midway through the second half. As head coach Tommy Canale said, “That was definitely a momentum change. I was hoping we could stop them on the other end, which we did and then answer with another score, which we didn’t. Our defense has been our Achilles’ heel to this point.”

Not helping matters was the foul troubles of Johnathan Smith and an injury to Josh Fenoglia early in the game. Also, Ropp was not his usual self in this game, only attempting 6 shots on the night.

“The last two games, Nathan hasn’t been feeling 100 percent. He said he was fine tonight, but I’m not sure that was the case. We’re not going to be real successful if he doesn’t take enough shots in a game.”

Another problem the Skyhawks presented was a clear size advantage, with players like Matt Ross and Ryne Vrana (6’7″) and Daven Ottley (6’6″) helping their team outrebound the Eagles 40-27.

“They had the rebound advantage all game. At halftime, it was a one-point rebound margin. It definitely cost us that we weren’t able to rebound with them. Losing Fenoglia and Smith affected us because without them, we don’t have anybody who can rebound with them.”

Smith was eventually ejected with 30 seconds remaining in the game after leaving the bench area upset about a foul by Ross on IVCC’s Brady Johnson.

The loss puts the Eagles at 8-10 overall with a 1-2 Arrowhead Conference record. Their next contest is an away game against Black Hawk East on Jan. 24.