Triton women advance
Postseason action opened with a bang for the Iowa Central women’s basketball team Wednesday night.
In a NJCAA Div. II Region XI Tournament quarterfinal on Dennis Pilcher Court at Hodges Fieldhouse, the third-seeded Tritons (22-8 overall) pounded No. 6 seed Marshalltown by an 80-49 count.
“Out of the gate, I thought we played as well as we have all year,” ICCC head coach Craig Carlson said. “Marshalltown was healthy (Wednesday) for the first time against us this season, which made it a hard game to prepare for. (The Tigers) are big, athletic and have two good shooters in (Mady) Van Metre and (Lauran) Hansen, but we really didn’t let them have many open looks from 3.”
Katie Dentlinger, a 5-foot-11 freshman forward, propelled Iowa Central with a game-high 19 points on 8-for-13 shooting.
“Dentlinger got us going again early on the offensive end (Dentlinger tallied 13 of her points before the break),” said Carlson. “We also hit 10 threes (on 37 attempts), which really helped open things up inside.”
Theresa Doyle (St. Edmond) and Miliakere Koyamainavure each added 12 points for the Tritons, who extended their victory streak to four straight games. Despite firing at just a 36.2 percent clip from the floor, Iowa Central made 29 field goals compared to only 18 for the Tigers (11-20).
“I thought Doyle did an excellent job on both ends of the court,” Carlson said. “Our whole team shared the basketball very well (last evening).”
The Tritons started the contest with an 18-0 flurry and were never seriously challenged. Marshalltown actually went the first 4:35 without a single point. Following the intermission, Iowa Central reeled off another 19-5 run.
Koyamainavure grabbed 14 rebounds, including seven of the offensive variety for the Tritons. Doyle also dished out seven assists, and Babaye Oja collected four steals.
Van Metre (14) and Latrice McMullen (12) both scored in double figures for the Tigers, who dropped all three meetings this season against Iowa Central. Marshalltown is coached by former Iowa State standout Alison Lacey.
Next up for Iowa Central in Friday’s regional tournament semifinals is second-seeded and 15th-ranked Des Moines Area (24-7). Tip is set for 8 p.m. in Keokuk. The Bears advanced with a 72-59 triumph over No. 7 seed Iowa Lakes.
During the regular season, the Tritons were swept by DMACC by scores of 76-58 and 64-59, respectively.
“We have to shoot the ball well from three to counter DMACC’s size,” said Carlson. “I just like how hard we’re playing right now, and when you do that, you’re going to give yourselves a chance.”