Women’s Basketball Season Preview: Lady eagles look to three-peat as conference Champions

Mason Lucas, IV Leader Sports Co-Editor

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With every October comes fall weather, Halloween, and the return of basketball.

The IVCC Lady Eagles basketballteam is set to return to the court on Oct. 13 to defend their back-to-back conference championship run.

The Lady Eagles finished 18-11 lastyear with an 8-2 record in conference,giving them a share of the conference championship for the second straightyear.

The team is looking to repeat anoth- er conference championship run but must do so without key players from last year’s team.

Coach Tom Ptak said, “That’s the goal. Our returning [players], their mindset is let’s go get it. Let’s do that.”

One team statistical leader lost wasJulia Pohar. Pohar averaged 21.4 points per game (ppg) which lead the team.

Pohar was also named MVP of the Arrowhead Conference and was a NJ-CAA All 3rd-team selection.

Another statistical leader lost wasQuincie Weber.

Weber averaged 11.5 ppg and 10.5 rebounds per game (rpg). She was sec-ond on the team in scoring and led the team in rebounding.

In all the Lady Eagles lost six soph-omores last year, including Hunter Wright, Lauren Tomasson, Paige Talty, and Cassidy Murphy.

Coach noted that those are some big shoes to fill, with losing Pohar who was a prolific scorer and Weber who was big for the team in rebounding.

“We are losing some big numbers but that’s always the challenge, I think for the kids returning from last year. That’s kind of their incentive. Theyknow what needs to be done and theywill step up.”

The Lady Eagles however, bring back some returning talent, most notably, Rachel Moraski.

Moraski was third on the team in scoring with 10.3 ppg. She also aver-aged 1.5 steals per game (spg), and 5.9 rpg.

The Lady Eagles also bring back Jen-na Lusietto, Lexi Marx, Maddie Dough- erty and Haylie Barrera.

Ptak also noted that the returning players are excited to step-up and have been putting in a lot of work in the off-season to get ready for the upcom-ing season.

The Lady Eagles have also broughtin freshman talent this year.

Five new players will compete forthe Eagles this season.

One new players is Presley Hatton,

who averaged 12.1 ppg and 7.2 rpg at Putnam County high school. She also earned Tri-County All-Conferencehonors.

Blair Bullock is another talentedincoming freshman, Bullock was an IBCA 1A/2A all-state honorable men- tion.

She averaged 16.7 ppg and is the fourth all-time leading scorer in Ke-wanee school history with 1,279.

Guard Gena Fassino, center ZoePiano from La-Salle Peru Township high school, and Emily Cook from Le-land-Earlville round out the talentedfreshman class.

Ptak is excited about what each player brings to the team in terms of shooting, rebounding, ball handling,and so forth.

The team will continue its space and pace offense from last season, and Ptak stated their biggest concern is re-bounding and defense.

Ptak also stated that they have been working on both right from the start.

“This year, overall, we’ll be faster. We are going to struggle with rebounding, but we will be faster and have better shooting… and we been really focus-ing and defense.”

The team starts their season on Oct. 13 with a three-game jamboree inRockford.

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