Congratulations go out to the Parkland College Women's Basketball team as it defeated Lake Land College 76-66 on the Lakers' home court Sunday to win the Region 24 title. The victory sends the Cobras to the NJCAA D-2 National Tournament in Overland Park, Kansas, March 18-23.
Parkland, seeded 10th as it enters Nationals, will play Lake Michigan College on Tuesday, March 18 at 1 p.m. This is Parkland's first trip to the NJCAA tourney since 2011, when the Cobras placed third.
The Regional 24 victory capped an outstanding late season run as the Cobras won nine of their last 10 games en route to winning the M-WAC and the Region 24 title. All of this seemed highly unlikely last May when the team had no coach and was down to just six players. Behind a great coaching effort by Coach Mike Lindemann and his staff, as well as a mix of strong play from both the sophomores and freshman, the team jelled and are headed back to Nationals.
On Sunday, the Cobras surprised the Lakers by coming out in a 3-2 zone defense, which confused LLCC for much of the half. Parkland led by as many as 10 in the opening half, but a late Laker run cut the margin to just five at 36-31 at intermission. Lake Land would stay hot to start the second half as they went on a 9-0 run to grab a 40-36 lead. Parkland rallied and regained the lead at 50-48 with 9:34 remaining and would never trail again.
As it has been almost all season, balance was the key for the Cobras. Hannah Wascher paced the attack with 14 points and 12 rebounds. Chelsea Cross added 13 and Jocie Klocke 12. A trio of players, Erin Kelley, Jerica Hawkins, and Aimee Iverson all scored 9 points, with Hawkins also grabbing 10 boards.
Parkland (24-9) projects to be seeded in the 7-12 range during the 16-team event held at Johnson County Community College.