WolfPack on rise in rankings

Women’s basketball team cracks top 15 for first time this year

Christina Gordon, Sports Editor

After a slow start to the season, the Madison College women’s basketball team has shown continual improvement.

“Since the very first game I like what I have seen, I like what I have seen at all positions.”  Madison College coach Lois Heeren said.

For the first time this season, the Madison College is ranked in the top 15 in the NJCAA Division III polls. 

The WolfPack have gone 2-2 in their last four games against some tough teams, and 5-4 in January. The team now stands at 13-8 overall and 5-4 in conference play.

On Jan. 29, Madison College traveled to Rockford, Ill., to face No. 3 Rock Valley College.  Down by nine points at half Madison College couldn’t find a way chip away at Rock Valley’s lead, losing the game, 84-64.

During the third quarter Madison College struggled to find its shot, and was outscored, 26-13. 

Everyone who got a chance to play in the game scored for the WolfPack. Freshman Olivia Marron led the WolfPack with 19 points.  Sophomore Aniah Williams was close behind with 16 points. Marron also had a team high nine rebounds and two blocks. 

On Jan. 25. Madison College avenged an earlier loss to Joliet Junior College, posting an 89-79 victory.

The game didn’t start out the way the WolfPack wanted, with Joliet taking a 24-14 first quarter lead.

“We didn’t have a lot of energy to start the game, we switched up the defense a little bit, and tried to get some more energy.  We didn’t take them lightly that is for sure, because they beat us last time,” Heeren said.

Madison College controlled the second half, with Madison College outscoring Joliet, 27-15, in the third quarter.

“We just really took control and managed the game really well the second half.  We made some adjustments, and once we got that lead, we kept it.”  Coach Heeren

So, what changed from the last time they played?

“We played with a lot more intensity on defense and we took care of the ball.  We let the game come to each individual.”  Coach Heeren

Sophomore Mrylena Stewart led the WolfPack in scoring with 21 points to go with her six assists.  Williams came off the bench and had 17 points.  Madison College shot 48.6 percent, up from 29.5 percent last time they played.

Madison College played in state rival Milwaukee Area Technical College on Jan. 22.  Down by six at half Madison College went on to win the game by three points, 82-79. 

Madison College used a big fourth quarter to help them win, outscoring Milwaukee, 31-12. 

“This win was huge; it was a gritty performance and wasn’t pretty but a win is a win.” Coach Heeren

Milwaukee College had to play with four players for the fourth quarter because of foul trouble. 

“We knew that they had some others in foul trouble and we just wanted to penetrate.  We tried to be more aggressive on the defensive side as well,” Heeren said.

Williams had a season-high 31 points to lead all scorers.  Marron lead the WolfPack in rebounds with a season high 12, to go along with her two blocks.  Madison College out-rebounded Milwaukee College, 52-33.

Madison College played Triton College on Jan. 18 and lost, 68-49.  Down by 12 at half Madison College wasn’t able to come up with much in the second half. During the third quarter Madison College was only able to score nine points.

Williams had 24 points to lead the team, while sophomore Lilly Dorman had a team-high nine rebounds. 

Madison College turned the ball over 28 times compared to Triton’s 15.

“I’m a little disappointed in the number of times we turned the ball over, which turned into easy points for them. We will keep working on that and getting better,”  Heeren said.

Madison College’s final home game of the season is on Feb. 5.  The WolfPack then has three road games to finish out the regular season.