Lady Eagles soar through February; ready for Regional


IVCC’s Joselynn Castelli (32) and Jessica Jessen (12) trap Black Hawk East’s Nicole Payne on Feb. 12. IVCC went on to win the game 56-55 while honoring their Sophomore players

Josh Dillon, IV Leader Sports Editor

The IVCC women’s basketball team currently holds a 19-8 record going into the final two games of the regular season, as the team prepares to host the NJCAA region 4 tournament on March 2-9.

To finish out the month of January, IVCC hosted Black Hawk College of Moline and defeated them 93-72. Sydonia Daniels had 18 points, Arnisha Thomas had 16, and Kara Kistenfeger had 14 in the win. The game was put away in the second half, as IVCC outscored Black Hawk 57-34 to come back from a two-point halftime deficit. Defensively, Thomas had a great game, grabbing ten defensive rebounds and four steals to keep Black Hawk off the board.

A very different story came out of Malta on Feb. 2, as the Lady Eagles travelled to Kishwaukee College to take on the Cougars. Earlier in the season, Kishwaukee won big against IVCC, defeating the Lady Eagles 72-40 on Jan. 10 at home. As the game went to halftime, IVCC trailed 30-29, but could not rally back in the second half, as they went on to lose the game 70-59 behind a stunning 29 points by the Cougars Valerierose Agnello. For IVCC, Thomas led the team with 18 points, Brytney Bennett had 13, and Asya Williams added 10 off the bench. While IVCC was able to crash the boards and out-rebound the cougars 31-20, Kishwaukee was dominant defensively, stealing the ball from the Lady Eagles 15 times in the rout.

The road-trip continued as IVCC travelled to Highland Community College on Feb. 5 and won 81-79 in overtime. Thomas had an incredibly game, putting up 32 points, 20 rebounds, and 11 assists in the big win to keep the Lady Eagles on track. Jessica Jessen added 14 points and Bennett had 11.

Coming off the big momentum boost over the overtime win, the Lady Eagles returned home to host Sauk Valley on Feb. 7 and beat the Skyhawks 68-49. Thomas had 20 points, Bennett added 12, and Joselynn Castelli had 10 points in the win. Kara Kistenfeger, the NJCAA Division II leader in assists, had eight assists and nine points in the win. Williams added 12 points and eight rebounds off the bench.

A home game against Carl Sandburg had a disastrous start as IVCC put up only 19 points in the first half and could not recover from that big of a deficit, as they lost 69-58. Thomas had 17 points, Williams had 13, and Jessen added 10. Williams and Thomas were great at the free-throw line, going 7-10 and 6-6 respectively.

IVCC hosted Black Hawk East on Feb. 12 for sophomore night and collected a big win 56-55. Jessen led the team with 12 points, Cathryn Rhodes added 10 from the bench, and Williams had 9. A great team effort, every IVCC player scored in the game.

To finish up the regular season, IVCC will travel to Black Hawk College in Moline on Feb. 21 and host Olive-Harvey College on Feb. 23 before the playoffs begin in Oglesby on March 2.