BY CHAD DARE firstname.lastname@example.org
---- — DANVILLE — Kyle Bent needed a map on Wednesday night to find his Danville Area Community College women’s basketball team.
The Lake Land College Lakers completely dominated every facet in a 84-51 victory over the Lady Jaguars.
“I didn’t expect us to come out that flat,’’ Bent said. “We were nowhere in the state of Illinois tonight.’’
And it didn’t matter what the DACC coach tried as the Lakers (7-3 overall) outscored the Jaguars 26-6 in the final 10 minutes of the first half, 27-12 in the first nine minutes of the second half.
“Every combination of kids that we tried, every offense, every defense and every press that we had — they just didn’t work,’’ Bent said. “When we played hard, things looked a lot better, but we were just too lethargic.
“Simply, we just weren’t in it tonight.’’
It was the second straight home loss for DACC (8-5) and it was second straight game for an opponent to score more than 80 points against the Lady Jaguars.
“This was surprising because we had two really good days of practice in a row,’’ said Bent. “But we couldn’t do anything right. We have the Christmas break staring us right in the face. We have a lot of young kids and it’s been a long season for them, already.
“But, that’s something that they have to learn to combat mentally.’’
Even the experienced players on the DACC roster had their problems on Wednesday night. Sophomores Kamaren Cole, Kayton Cole and Megan Hiner combined for just 11 points on 4-of-22 shooting. That trio came into the contest averaging nearly 40 points a game for the Lady Jaguars.
“They definitely struggled,’’ Bent said. “Everyone fell into this lull. I don’t know what it was — it was just something mentally wrong with our team.’’
Making matters worse for DACC was the fact that Lake Land played one of its best games of the season, according to coach Dave Johnson, who is the brother of Bismarck-Henning coach Susan Kentner.
“That’s the most complete game that we played in the season — on both ends of the floor.’’ Johnson said. “I thought our kids had a great attention to detail tonight, they followed our scouting report really well. We were very disciplined on defense.
“We were also fortunate because that wasn’t as well as DACC can play. Everything just clicked for us tonight.’’
Helping the Lakers on both its runs in the first and second halves were former all-area standouts Brooke Markwalder from Armstrong-Potomac and Emily Weinard from Bismarck-Henning.
Markwalder finished with six points and three rebounds, while also playing a very solid defensive game, and Weinard was 3-for-4 from 3-point range, contributing nine points in the Lakers victory.
“Both of them are tremendously hard-working young women,’’ Johnson said. “They have put a lot of effort into our team and I think tonight, they were ready to play in front of their family and friends.
“Brooke did a great job on defense and Emily has been hitting shot all year.’’
Sierra Honeycutt, who scored 13 of her team-high 15 points in the second half, was one of the bright spots for DACC, along with guard Tyra Turk.
“She put forth a good effort and I thought Tyra played hard in the minutes that she got there at the end,’’ Bent said. “But it will take more than two kids with great effort to win games in our league.’’
Brianna Jones was the only other player for the Jaguars to score in double figures as she had 10 points to go along with seven rebounds.
Lake Land’s Blair Stephenson earned game-high scoring honors with 16 points — 14 of those coming in the first half, while Candace Niemerg had a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds and former St. Joseph-Ogden standout Josey Fruhling contributed 12 in the victory.
DACC will have 10 days to regroup before playing Black Hawk East on Dec. 29 in the Lake Land College Classic in Mattoon.