Lady Eagles win thriller over Skyhawks 46-45

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IVCC’s Megan Winkler (10) unsuccessfully attempts to save the ball as it goes out of bounds in a game at Sauk Valley Community College on Jan. 19.

Josh Dillon, IVLeader Sports Editor

It took every bit of 40 minutes to decide a winner at Sauk Valley Community College and in a dramatic finish, Johnnika Nash’s layup with 4.3 seconds left in the game propelled the Lady Eagles to a victory 46-45.

When asked about the final play of the game, Nash said, “I just needed to take the last shot. I had a good way to the basket and I went and put it up there.”

Head coach Pat Cinotte praised his team’s tenacity after game by saying, “We showed a lot of character tonight, came back and fought hard; I can’t say enough about my team right now. When we needed a bucket or a rebound in the second half, we got it.”

“We’re 3-0 in the conference, 14-4 overall, we have to keep up and play 40 minutes every times. To beat a Division 1 team in their own house says something about how good this team is.”

A questionable call in the final seconds almost cost the Eagles as it appeared that Elizabeth Liptak was fouled while attempting a go ahead shot while time was slipping away. The referees ruled that Liptak’s foul occurred after the act of shooting, and instead of giving her two free throws, IVCC was able to retain possession and inbound the ball.

Liptak attempted another shot to take the lead, but missed as the ball clanged off the rim. Emma Darby then grabbed an offensive rebound, and Cinotte called the team’s final timeout as Darby held onto the ball for dear life.

Darby had this to say about the final moments, “I just wanted to go up and I told myself I had to get it. We needed that ball right at that time. I knew we could capitalize off of it and Coach would make a good play to get us a score and a win. I felt like I was playing better too, making more of my shots than normal. I was just hoping and praying that [Nash’s] layup would go in.”

Another player who had an interesting night was IVCC’s Julie Haye, who was playing against her sister Adrienne. Haye said, “It’s actually easier since we’ve done this three times already, by now it’s almost second nature and we know each other so well and there’s not hard feelings. We were defending each other a bit more today than we have in previous game.

After Nash made the go ahead basket, SVCC tried a long pass across the court that Nash was able to disrupt just enough that the ball sailed out of bounds. IVCC then did a long inbound pass of their own to keep the ball away, but after Nash caught the ball, the ball was taken away due to a travelling call and Sauk got the ball back. But, the Skyhawks weren’t able to make a final shot and time expired.

The Lady Eagles’ next game is another road contest against Black Hawk East on Tuesday January 24th at 5:30 pm.

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