NJCAA REGION IV WOMEN'S
Warriors too much for Cougs
By Matt Goldberg, The Journal-Standard
Published: Sunday, March 11, 2007 12:05 AM CST
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DIXON - Region IV MVP Jess Biddle can't take full
responsibility for ending Highland's season.
Sure, the 6-foot-1 Black Hawk East star did score a
game-high 19 points. But by herself, Biddle did not kill
Highland's 17 first-half turnovers, Black Hawk East's
25-2 run in the middle of the first half and Crystal
3-pointers all led to Highland falling to top-seeded Highland's Amber Lee (10) gets hacked by
Black Hawk East, 65-44, in Saturday's Region IV Black Hawk East's Michelle Woolley (left) as
she drives to the basket during the second
championship game at Sauk Valley Community College
half of Saturday's Region IV Championship
in Dixon. game at Sauk Valley College in Dixon. Also
defending is Black Hawk East's Jess Biddle
(45). (Chuck Wellman/For The Journal-
While the Lady Cougars (14-16) turned the ball over Standard)
17 times in the first half, the Warriors only had eight
miscues - and two of them were in the opening
“I thought we did what we had to do on Biddle,” first-year Highland coach Dean Buckwalter said.
“But turnovers just killed us.”
During the opening minutes things looked promising for the last-seeded Cougars as they made
their first five shot attempts. Sophomore Amelia King hit a 3-pointer four minutes into the game
to give the Cougars an 11-5 advantage.
But after starting the game red hot, the Cougars' shooting touch turned ice cold. Black Hawk
East (25-7) outscored the Cougars 25-2 during the 10:38 span that followed King's trey.
“We couldn't get the ball to go in the basket and their defense was just stifling,” Buckwalter
said.“... I thought we were ready for them.”
Black Hawk East shot 45.5 percent from the field, while Highland only made 34 percent of its
“Our defense wasn't bad,” Gray said. “We were doing our job. It's just they wouldn't stop hitting
their shots. They were making everything. And you can't help that.”
Highland sophomore Amber Lee (10 points) nailed a jumper with 5:22 remaining in the opening
half - giving the Cougars their first points since Gena Gray (13 points) made a basket seven
After Lee's basket, Highland found itself trailing, 31-15. But the Cougars still had some fight
left in them and managed to cut the deficit to ten - 34-24 - going into halftime.
Highland turned the ball over on its first two possessions of the second half. Midway through the
final half, Gray beat Biddle off the dribble to cut the Warriors' lead to nine. But that was as close
as Highland would get. Black Hawk East went on a 13-2 run to seal the win.
“The team, we didn't shoot well tonight,” Lee said. “As coach said, it felt like a lid on the basket.
It's just the way the game goes.”
Notes: Highland's Gray and King made the Region IV all-tournament team. ... The Cougars
ended up committing 25 turnovers - five more than the Warriors. But a few of Black Hawk
East's turnovers came when the outcome had already been decided. ... Highland finishes the
season 1-3 against Black Hawk East. The Cougars beat the Warriors in December before losing
three straight games to the Warriors.... Jasmine Coleman said she recently received her medical
redshirt and will be playing for Highland next season. Coleman suffered a season-ending knee
injury six games into the season. At the time, she led the Cougars in scoring.