Chaparrals Shoot into Conference Win

The College of DuPage women’s basketball team won conference for the first time in 20 years.

Claire Valenti, Sports Writer

For the first time in 20 years, the College of DuPage women’s basketball team are North Central Community College Conference (N4C) champions. The Chaparrals earned the title after a 77-74 overtime victory over the Milwaukee Area Technical College Stormers Feb. 7, raising their conference record to 6-1.

Head women’s basketball coach Abby Talley said beating the only Division II school in the conference as a Division III team, on Milwaukee’s home court, was huge.

“If they would’ve won, they would’ve been [champions],” Talley said. “When we won, we were champions, and it was really exciting. It was a tough place to win, that environment is a lot but it was a very exciting moment and it made it even better.”

Sophomore forward Katlyn Allen has played basketball for COD for two seasons. Allen said one of the best parts about being a conference champion is that she accomplished that dream surrounded by her teammates.

“It feels good when you play with a group of people you like being around,” she said. “I actually have a bond with these girls. We play really well together. It’s bittersweet leaving, but we get to take something big with us; it’s a great accomplishment, and it feels really good.”

Sophomore guard Alyssa Havard transferred to COD from Greenville University ahead of the 2022-2023 season. She said she enjoys playing with the Chaparrals because of the success she’s found with the team.

“This is my first winning season,” Havard said. “Winning conference is crazy, especially [because] it’s been 20 years since COD’s women’s basketball has won conference. It was a monumental moment.”

Sophomore guard Mykah Berkompas has played with the Chaparrals for two seasons. She said there was a considerable difference between the team’s performance last season and their showing now.

“[The team] went from dead last to first place in both region and conference,” Berkompas said. “I can’t even describe the feeling. It’s seriously insane. Especially playing Milwaukee, that was a really big game for us because they’re a good team, and they were the only thing standing in our way.”

Freshman guard Sierra Gibson is playing her first season with the Chaparrals. She said that although it took a while for the team to find their groove, the Chaparrals could beat anyone they go up against.

“It’s huge, especially coming in as a freshman and being able to win [conference] with such a great group,” Gibson said. “In the beginning, we were slacking, and then after [winter] break we came back, and we had never clicked so well.”

Sophomore forward Korriana Wilson has been with the team for two seasons. She said coach Talley helped the team get to where they are this season.

“I am ecstatic,” Wilson said. “I’m really happy with the fact the people from last season are still here and that we’ve stuck with each other since the terrible season we had last year. I’m happy that we have a new coach and a whole new COD basketball [environment]. It’s been great.”