DANVILLE — The Lake Land Lady Lakers basketball team, one that is 24-7 and ranked No. 15 in the National Junior College Athletic Association Division II, is to battle with Lincoln Land Community College, 26-3 and the No. 5 team in the nation, in the Region 24 tournament at 4 p.m. Saturday at Dick Shockey Court in the Mary Miller Gymnasium on the Campus of Danville Area Community College.
"It is going to be a fast-paced game as both teams will get up and down the court," said Lake Land coach Dave Johnson.
The winner advances to a 2 p.m. Sunday championship against the victor of the Lewis & Clark vs. Illinois Central College, the No. 1 team in the nation.
Lake Land beat Lincoln Land December 5 at Lake Land 72-69 as Mattoon graduate Avery Jackson scored 25 points. Katina Christensen had 15 points and Jamie Sandschafer had 12 points.
"It was so long ago that it doesn't really matter," said Johnson. "That was three months ago and both teams have improved since then."
The Loggers have one area player on their roster in Hannah Wallen, an Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond graduate, who is a 5-7 forward that has started in 26 games and averages 9.3 points per game as well as 4.3 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 2.3 steals per game.
Lincoln Land's two other losses were to ICC, 82-76 on Feb. 9 and 71-70 last Saturday. The Loggers beat Lewis and Clark 77-67 On Feb. 2.
"They have four good guards and probably the best in the region inside with Katryel Clark (5-10 forward)," said Johnson, whose team lost to ICC 64-62 Jan. 22 and beat Lewis and Clark 83-60 Nov. 17.
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The Loggers advanced to the semifinals with a 71-63 win over John Wood, while the Lady Lakers beat DACC 75-47.
Lincoln Land enters the game with an average of 77.6 points per game (16th in the nation), while Lake Land averages 72.4 (35th in the nation). The Loggers are eight in the nation in 3-point field goals (37.1 percent) and ninth on defense allowing just 55 points per contest. They are second in field goal percentage at 50.3 percent and 10th in the nation in field goals made per game (30.4).
Lake Land is 8th in the nation in 3-point field goals made per game (8.1), first in free-throw percentage (74.6), 12th in turnovers per game (12.8) and 20th in points allowed (56.5).
Lincoln Land played a 2-3 zone most of the time in the first meeting.
The Lady Lakers practiced at home earlier in the day Friday and had a shoot-around at Danville in the evening.
"The freshmen had not played there," said Johnson. "The sophomores had. We wanted the freshmen to get familiar with the arena and the surroundings."
Johnson is glad Lake Land was the No. 2 seed so that they did have to play last Wednesday.
"It was nice to play Wednesday instead of not playing for a week, said Johnson.
As for the keys to the game, Johnson said, "Offensively, we have to attack Clark and make her play defense. That is something we have to do a really good job of. Defensively, we have to do a really good job of reading our clues and making sure we have our coverage down."
Contact Mike Monahan at (217) 238-6854. Follow him on Twitter: @monahanmikejgtc
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