In their first action against a varsity/first team squad in the new year, the women’s basketball Trailblazers notched a hard-fought win by the score of 76-64 on the road to SWIC. Missing playmakers Shaquira Cardine and Miata Borders, head coach Jaron Young was depending on someone to step up.
Two Trailblazers stepped up to that challenge: Mary Penland-Holmes, and Darriel Hicks. Penland-Holmes led the way with 31 points, and Darriel Hicks, who had 15 in the second half alone.
“It’s almost like you never know who’s going to step up.” Said Jaron Young, following the win inside SWIC’s Varsity Gym. “Without Miata (Borders), and Shaquira (Cardine) is gone, we’ve been waiting for this. (Penland-Holmes) has always had that potential. She stepped up and had a big night tonight. Then with Darriel’s play, she had 15 in the second half, she gave us a really good boost.”
The boost from this duo was needed, as the game was hectic, but had little in the way of cohesive scoring for either side. SWIC’s response to L&C’s press defense was to chuck hail mary-like passes up the court, which at times caused chaos for matchups for the Trailblazers defensively.
“We didn’t rebound that well at all tonight,” Young conceded, “We don’t get matched up, when we don’t get matched up and we scramble around, it leaves people open for easy rebounds.”
Notably, Young’s Trailblazers clawed out of an early 10-0 hole, that could have spelled their death early, but he admired his team’s poise under pressure. “We fought back, never really got too rattled. We hung in there, made some shots and got some stops, we pulled it out.”
The win puts the Trailblazer women at a NJCAA-recognized (not counting recent contests against Missouri Baptist Reserves and MacMurray Junior Varsity) 7-7 record on the 19-20 campaign, with eight games remaining on the regular season schedule, with a trip to Illinois College on January 22 next on the itinerary.
For complete rosters and schedules for women’s basketball and all Trailblazer sports, visit LC.edu/Athletics.