Triton women buckle down defensively

The seventh-ranked (NJCAA, Div. II) Iowa Central women put forth their best defensive effort inside Hodges Fieldhouse Wednesday night, routing the William Penn JV, 90-42.

The Tritons (2-0 overall) held the Statesmen scoreless for the first 10 minutes of the second half, taking a 20-point halftime advantage and turning it into a 70-24 lead.

Lydia Harvey led four scorers in double figures with 17 points, adding six rebounds and four steals.

Miliakere Koyamainavure added 15 points, seven boards and four steals, while Katie Dentlinger had 14, eight and three. Babaya Oja chipped in 10 and six steals.

“Our defensive effort was on point,” ICCC head coach Craig Carlson said. “I was proud of that.

“What I wasn’t happy with was our inability to adjust to how the game was being called. There are points of emphasis for the officials this season, and we failed to recognize that.”

Iowa Central did just about everything else right, scoring 25 points off 36 William Penn turnovers. That included 23 steals on the evening.

“Babaya used her quickness, but she also got caught with her hands quite a few times,” said Carlson, who saw his team get whitstled for 20 fouls. “The referees made the calls inside the rulebook, so no complaint there – I’m just disappointed in how we failed to adjust.”

A 7-0 run early in the game turned the only Iowa Central deficit into a 9-5 lead. Another 9-0 burst made it clear that Carlson would be able to once again work his bench into the rotation.

“We’re still trying to find that right mix,” he said. “It’s early, but we want to see some girls step up and find their roles.

“We have a big game this weekend, as we play No. 6 Kishwaukee at the Kirkwood Classic.”

Harvey posted 10 of her 17 points in the second half, knocking down two of eight three-pointers made by the Tritons. Hannah Lentsch, a fellow former St. Edmond standout, added six points off the bench, while Ashley Ray scored eight.

“Ray gave us some good minutes, as did several others,” Carlson said. “We did lose Noelly Scott in the first half, and I don’t know the extent of her injury.”

Scott went down along the baseline and had to be helped off the floor. She had her knee in a brace after the game.

Iowa Central heads to Cedar Rapids this Friday and Saturday, first taking on Kishwaukee at 5:30 p.m. before meeting Joliet at 1 p.m.

The William Penn varsity, which is 3-0 on the year, is coached by former Iowa Central head man Mike Brown. He is in his second season leading the program and fourth overall.

Brown coached at Iowa Central from 1999-2005, going 115-78 and qualifying once for the national tournament.