BY JOHN DUBOIS
Sparked by a dominating offensive performance in the second half, the Danville Area Community College Lady Jaguars made their last home game of the season a memorable one Saturday with a 70-47 win over the Lincoln Land Lady Loggers.
The Jaguars move to 21-8 overall, 7-2 Midwest Athletic Conference, and continue to show the progress they have made under third year coach Kyle Bent following a 19-win season last year and a three-win season in 2010-11.
Sophomores Hillary Lively and Tierra Golightly each posted double-doubles with Lively scoring a game high 20 points with 10 rebounds, while Golightly had 11 points and 13 rebounds. Kameren Cole added 12 points off the bench with all eight players scoring at least three points.
“When we can get contributions like that from Hillary and Tierra we like our chances in any game,” Bent said. “They have played well together, they have played a lot of games over the last two years, and they have set a standard for future post players in our program.
“Emily Montgomery and Stephanie Lord are our other two sophomores who will be moving on and they have both been slowed by injuries, but have come back and continued to work hard. All four of our sophomores are coachable kids who have done a nice job. Along with Megan Hiner and Kayton Cole, who both will be returning next year due to time lost to injuries, they were my first recruiting class and so far they have won 40 games. They will always be close to my heart.”
The game was back and forth early with the Jaguars going on a 10-0 run which opened a 22-12 lead, but the Loggers closed out the half on a 9-2 run to cut the DACC lead to 24-21 going into halftime. It was a big bounce back game for Lively, who scored 10 of her points in the first half.
“I’ve been struggling the last couple of games,” Lively said. “I feel like I have been out of my element offensively and refocused on doing the little things. I was able to get into more of a rhythm today and was able to show what I can do.”
DACC pushed the lead to 10 points early in the second half and were never seriously threatened — outscoring the Loggers 46-26 in the final 20 minutes with the lead reaching a high of 27 points.
“Overall our offense wasn’t very good in the first half,” Bent said. “We were a little out of whack and maybe a little distracted with sophomore day and the big win we had over them earlier in the season. We shared the basketball in the second half, and got a lot of easy baskets which was the key difference from the first half to the second.
“You could see the maturation process from their freshman to sophomore seasons for Hillary and Tierra. They have been in these situations before and knew how to handle it. We were able to find another gear, and I was very, very pleased with what I saw from our offense in the second half.”
It was another strong effort from Golightly.
“I’ve been able to be consistent and get it done, and feel like every game I can dominate,” she said. “It has been a really great experience for me coming to DACC from Indianapolis, and we all feel good heading into post-season.”
Lively was a former standout for the North Vermilion Falcons.
“I’m glad I’ve been able to be a part of building a winning foundation for the program,” she said. “I honestly didn’t know much about DACC basketball and came here on a whim. We have good chemistry as a team and have established a positive winning attitude for the future. We played some good defense in the first half today, we were able to get our offense going in the second half, and feel good about the postseason.”
The Lady Jaguars wrap up the regular season next Saturday at John Wood.
“After we won three games our first year, it feels good to have won the 40 games so far over the last two seasons,” Bent said. “For our sophomore group to have put their faith in us at that point says a lot about the character of the girls and the work they have put in to get us to this point.”