Parkland off to fast start at nationals

Parkland off to fast start at nationals


OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — The Parkland women’s basketball team didn’t display opening-round jitters Tuesday afternoon at Johnson County Community College.

A 94-69 rout of Lake Michigan College out of Benton Harbor, Mich., in a first-round game is how the Cobras began their stay at the NJCAA Division II tournament.

“Their confidence is very high,” Parkland coach Mike Lindemann said. “They’re playing the best they have all year.”

A quarterfinal game against second-seeded Highland (Kan.) Community College (31-2) awaits the Cobras (25-9) at 8 p.m. today. 

“We arrived on Sunday, and it was kind of hard because we had an hour practice on Monday and then all day to just sit around,” Lindemann said. “I’m glad we didn’t play late (Tuesday). Everybody was anxious.”

Rantoul product Hannah Wascher led all scorers with 23 points on 10-of-16 shooting and narrowly missed a double-double with a game-high nine rebounds for the Cobras. 

“She controls everything underneath,” Lindemann said.

Jerica Hawkins (17 points, seven assists, five rebounds), Erin Kelley (17 points, four assists), Jocie Klocke (10 points, four assists) and Centennial graduate Chelsea Cross (10 points, six rebounds, four assists) each finished in double figures as Parkland built a 52-29 halftime lead after bolting to a 23-2 lead in the game’s first eight minutes. The Cobras shot 62 percent from the field for the game.

“One of our key goals was to move the basketball, and that’s exactly what we did to start off,” said Lindemann, whose team had 27 assists on 39 field goals. “The thing I’m most proud of is the assists. That’s just a team sharing the ball. They’re not caring who is scoring.”