MATTOON — Size and depth are two very important elements to a good basketball team.
The Parkland College women’s basketball team had the advantage in both of those areas in Saturday’s NJCAA Division II Region 24 Tournament semifinal contest against Danville Area Community College.
In the final 10 minutes, the Cobras outscored the Jaguars 23-12 to pull out a 86-75 victory in a game played at Lake Land College.
“We were really fatigued,’’ Danville Area Community College coach Kyle Bent said. “In that last stretch, we tried switching defenses and we tried to d a couple of things on offense.
“We just didn’t have enough left in our tank. I thought we fought pretty well, but it just wasn’t enough.’’
The Jaguars, who cap their season at 21-10, the third straight 20-win season for the program, scored 43 first-half points and trailed 46-43 as they were 7-of-19 from the 3-point range.
In the second half, DACC’s shooting dropped from 40 percent to 35.5 and the Jaguars were just 4-of-13 from 3-point range. Sophomore Kayton Cole and Kamaren Cole combined for 28 points and eight 3-pointers for the Jaguars. Kayton Cole finished with a double-double as she had 16 points and a game-high 13 assists.
“Those 3s kept us in the game in the first half,’’ Bent said. “In the second half, Parkland just kept beating us inside. We tried to double down a little bit, but we were just allowing them to get easy position too early in the sets.’’
Parkland’s Hannah Wascher finished with a game-high 22 points to go along with a game-high 13 rebounds. She had 20 of her points in the first half, but in the final 20 minutes, it was a combination of Cobra players that were able to get into the lane and score against the Jaguars.
“Once they cut across our faces, they were just able to back us down,’’ Bent said. “We just weren’t clicking defensively, and it was a struggle for all 40 minutes for us.