In the heat of the regional NJCAA basketball schedule, the occasional non-conference contest against a junior varsity side can provide respite and rejuvenation for any team. On February 10, Jaron Young’s Trailblazer women thrived given that respite, doubling up MacMurray College’s JV Highlanders by the score 98-49.
The size of the win comes as a slight surprise, as L&C travelled to MacMurray in January and won by just 14, a measly margin in comparison to Monday’s 49-point drubbing. It did feel as though the women’s basketball Trailblazers were exalting some demons in this one, never letting their foot off the gas as they pushed the entire way, still scoring on fast breaks in the last minute when up by over 40.
“We definitely needed this. We play a rough conference schedule.” said Trailblazer head coach Jaron Young postgame. “You want the kids to have fun, and you need games like that.”
The only area for improvement Young could point to was on defense, even in a massive victory.
“(We weren’t) guarding that #23 (MacMurray’s Aryanna Harris), she can really play.” said Young, praising the versatile scorer on the visiting side. “We wanted to guard a bit better, everybody did pretty well defensively, but guarding that one player, we didn’t do well containing her.”
Young and the Trailblazers will turn their focus back to their tough Region 24 schedule following the energizing victory. On Saturday, February 8, L&C squeezed by regional foe Danville 58-55, but face a much larger challenge in the week ahead.
“With two tough games coming up against ICC and Lincoln Land, it’s nice to have a game like (Monday’s big win) that gets the team loose and ready to play.” Young noted.
Illinois Central College ranks #13 in NJCAA Division II women’s basketball, while Lincoln Land sits #3 in the same rankings. Both schools are in Region 24 with Lewis & Clark. If you ask any of the women’s or men’s Trailblazer basketball coaches, they’ll quickly tell you the region is the toughest juco basketball conference in the country.
The matchup with Illinois Central is a makeup of last week’s postponed affair, and will tip-off at Riverbend Arena on the L&C campus at 5:30 pm on February 12. For complete schedules and rosters of women’s basketball and all Trailblazer sports, visit LC.edu/Athletics.