Lady Eagles Plan Ahead For Next Season

Mason Lucas, IV Leader Sports Co-Editor

Basketball season has come to a close for the IVCC Lady Eagles. Their season ended on March 2 with a 100-61 loss to the then second-ranked team in the country Moraine Valley.  

The Lady Eagles won the first quarter 20-19 and then were outscored 61-41 through the next three quarters. Lexi Marx led the team in scoring with 29 points and added 10 rebounds in that match-up.  Overall, the Lady Eagles finished the season 14-15—including the two playoff games— and 5-5 in conference.  Coach Tom Ptak said, “For what we had, I’m pretty impressed, but injuries hurt us, and numbers hurt us.”  

The Lady Eagles will be losing six players overall. That group accounts for the team’s four top-scorers and three top-rebounders. That group includes Lexi Marx, Rachael Moraski, Maddie Dougherty, Jenna Lusietto, Haylie Barerra, and Blair Bullock. Ptak noted the challenges on replacing such a big group: “I’m having a hard time recruiting for next year… It’s very concerning to be honest with you. Right now for next year, I’m a little nervous not only replacing but having the numbers again. It’s a challenge.”  

The Lady Eagles will only have three returning players next year in Emily Cook, Gena Fassino, and Presley Hatton. Ptak noted that not only will those three will have a tough challenge of being the only three players back, but the high expectations they will have to bear.  

Ptak has confidence in the group coming back. He noted Cook came on strong at the end of the season when asked to take over the point guard position due to injury and he is looking for big things from her. He also noted that he is looking for big things from Fassino as well. Ptak said she is like an energizer bunny and a fantastic rebounder for her size. He also knows she will work on her game over the off-season.  

Finally, Ptak focused on how Hatton came on strong at the end of the season. He thought that she exuded more confidence and notes that she is a very good shooter.   

This season’s Lady Eagles were fantastic at rebounding, passing and defense. However, they struggled mightily with shooting and turnovers. They averaged a total of 22.4 turnovers per game. It ranks towards the bottom of the region. As for shooting, the Lady Eagles shot 33 percent from the floor and 28.5 percent from three-point territory. Ptak is searching for ways to turn that around next season.  

Improvement is needed for next season in order to stay competitive. The team heavily regressed from last season. Coach Ptak said that he plans on tweaking some of his coaching methods next season.  

I have to improve on making them practice in game-like situations,” said Ptak. “I get too lax on that sometimes.”