After a long and taxing night, the frustration was visible on the faces of the IVCC women’s basketball team and coach Pat Cinotte.
The Lady Eagles struggled in the final minutes Tuesday in Oglesby as IVCC rallied but lost a late lead and fell to Parkland 81-75 for its first loss of the season.
“Make no mistake about it, Parkland is a good team,” Cinotte said. “We weren’t passing well, and the last four minutes we weren’t getting back on defense. We turned the ball over and we looked like a deer in the headlights when Parkland went to the zone defense at the end. If we want to be a good team or a great team, we have to take care of the things we can control.”
Parkland forced a number of turnovers by the Lady Eagles to build a 56-45 second-half lead before IVCC’s Arnisha Thomas converted an old fashioned three-point play and Brytney Bennett put in a basket to pull IVCC to help pull the Lady Eagles to 58-52.
Then, on the inbounds pass, IVCC’s Shareita Patton stole the ball and converted it into a layup while drawing the foul. Patton missed the free throw, but Bennett grabbed the rebound and laid it in to pull the Lady Eagles to 58-54.
However, Parkland extended the lead once more before IVCC freshman and Ottawa graduate Kara Kistenfeger drained a 3-pointer to again pull IVCC within a possession at 62-59.
Following her 3-pointer, Kistenfeger came up with a steal and passed the ball ahead to Patton, who found a wide-open Thomas for the layup.
At that point, Parkland called a timeout and coach Karrie Redeker was whistled for a technical. Kistenfeger hit both free throws to give IVCC a 63-62 lead.
IVCC pushed its lead to four after Thomas beat the shot clock and drained a 3-pointer.
However, just when it looked as if IVCC had seized the momentum, Parkland came roaring back with a big closing run that gave it the lead and ultimately the non-conference vicory.
During the run, Parkland’s Heather Baker hit a pair of buckets and Lindsay Lenon drain all four of her free throws to help seal the win.
“It’s hard to figure out what happened at the end,” Cinotte said. “I don’t know if we used up all of our energy coming back from 11 down or what, but it seemed like we went brain dead or something. We looked like we had never seen a zone defense before so we have to do a better job of recognizing things and taking care of the ball.”
The first half saw the teams trade basket for basket as the squads were tied or close for most of the first 20 minutes as Parkland took a 34-32 lead at half.
IVCC had five players finish in double-digit scoring. Thomas led the way with 18 points, while Patton added 14, Bennett 11, Kistenfeger 10 and Asya Williams 10.
Brad Martin Sr. can be reached at 220-6939, or at email@example.com.