Lady Lakers advance to NJCAA National Finals
March 12, 2012By Chet Novak of LAKE LAND COLLEGE
QUINCY--MOUNTAIN DEW COURT--With .06 seconds remaining in the game, Lake Land College led, 56-54, but Lewis & Clark Community College had an inbounds opportunity from the baseline near their basket. If Lake Land's defense could not produce a stop, L & C could tie or win the game.
But the defense succeeded, the Lady Trailblazers failed to score, and the score held fast, the Lady Lakers winning the NJCAA Region 24 Tournament. The 56-64 championship win secured a berth in the NJCAA National Finals at the CougarPlex in East Peoria, IL (hosted by Illinois Central College).
Freshman Lauren Bogle led all scorers with 15 points, joined by freshmen Shelby Kohrmann with 12 points and Lorraine Pitchford with 6 points, to combine for 33 of the team's 56 point total.
Sophomore Kara Carter added 8 points on mid-range jumpers, sophomore Haley Sparks tossed in a half-dozen, while sophomore Victoria Wolke canned 9 points.
All of Lake Land's offense, however, was a product of teamwork, an attribute which played a larger role on defense, having to attempt to contain Lewis & Clark's triple threat of Brascia Audain (13 pts), Claudette Maurice (14 pts), and Latrice Taylor 13 pts). Those three accounted for 40 of L & C's 54 points.
After the final buzzer, the court became a frenzy of elation as the Lady Lakers and their coaching staff celebrated the championship win. John Wood Community College athletic director Mike Elbe presented the championship plaque to Lake Land and then awarded the All-Region 24 Team with awards, including two Lake Land College players, freshman Lauren Bogle and sophomore Haley Sparks.
Lake Land now prepares for the upcoming NJCAA National Finals, slated for March 20-24. Lake Land will learn who their first round opponent is sometime on Tuesday.