Chaparrals Defeat Hawks to Advance in NJCAA Tournament

The College of DuPage women’s basketball team came out on top against Harper College, pushing them into the NJCAA Region 4 Division III championship game against Joliet Junior College.

Claire Valenti, Sports Writer

The College of DuPage women’s basketball team entered the game burning hot against Harper College Friday afternoon, finishing each quarter at least 13 points ahead of Harper College. With swift steals and consistent rebounds, the Chaparrals defeated the Hawks 66-45, advancing to the NJCAA Region 4 Division III finals at the Joliet Junior College Event Center.

“I wouldn’t say that’s the cleanest win they’ve ever had, but they got it done,” head women’s basketball coach Abby Tally said. “I just hope we take this energy and work on the mistakes we had so we’re ready to go on Sunday.”

Sophomore forward Korriana Wilson scored seven points with seven rebounds. She also made one assist and one steal. (Rachel Wagner)

Freshman guard Sierra Gibson racked up 16 points with four rebounds. She also made four steals. The Chaparrals had a 1-1 record against the Wolves during the regular season, but Gibson said she’s confident the team can beat them again.

“I hope [next game] we just keep pushing it, and don’t let [the Wolves] come back or make them think they have a chance,” she said. “I feel like at a point, we did kind of show down and let them get a little bit closer, but we just have to keep the beat and keep playing as a team.”

Sophomore guard Alyssa Havard earned a double-double, scoring 14 points with 11 rebounds. She also picked up four steals and three assists.

“[Before stealing] I anticipate the pass, and I like to watch their eyes,” Havard said. “When I see [an opponent] staring at their teammate for a long time, that’s when I go in.”

Sophomore guard Mykah Berkompas scored 13 points with two rebounds. She also made two steals and one assist.

“In the second half, we really picked up our energy,” Berkompas said. “We really started sharing [the ball], and our press was really intense on them, so we got a lot of steals. That helped our momentum, and we took off from there.”

Freshman guard Sierra Gibson dribbles the ball after stealing it from a Hawks player and charges the net. (Rachel Wagner)

Sophomore guard Morgan Nesemeier earned seven points with three rebounds. She also made one assist and one steal.

“We’re No.1 for a reason,” Nesemeier said. “We need to keep that attitude and confidence. We just proved that we can win if we work as a team, so let’s [keep] showing it and prove it to everybody.”

Sophomore forward Katlyn Allen scored seven points with 10 rebounds. She also led the team with eight steals and five assists.

“It wasn’t the prettiest win, and we kind of played down,” Allen said. “We adjust to the team [we’re] against, which is sometimes not that good, but I feel really good. A win is a win, and I’m glad we’re moving forward together; this is not [the end] for us.”

The Chaparrals will battle for the NJCAA Region 4 Division III championship against the Joliet Junior College Wolves at 1 p.m. on Feb. 26 at the Joliet Junior College Event Center.