Moraine Valley, South Suburban take Region IV DII District titles

Images courtesy of Moraine Valley Community College Athletics & South Suburban College Athletics
Images courtesy of Moraine Valley Community College Athletics & South Suburban College Athletics

SUGAR GROVE, ILL. - When the dust finally settled on the 2019 Region IV Division II Women's Basketball Tournament, Moraine Valley Community College and South Suburban College were left standing as District D and District L, respectively. The top-seeded Cyclones prevailed over second-seeded McHenry County College 89-70, while second-seeded South Suburban College topped defending Region IV champ and top-seeded Bryant & Stratton College 71-65 on Saturday at Waubonsee Community College.

Moraine Valley Community College fought tooth-and-nail with the Scots throughout the entire first half, owning a 20-14 lead after the first quarter and a 42-35 differential at the half after a hotly-contested second quarter. The Cyclones began to pull away in the third, building a 20-point lead thanks to a plus-18 scoring differential over the ten minute stretch to secure their second trip to nationals in the last three years. Ranked #3 in the NJCAA Division II Poll, MVCC has won an impressive 31 straight games.

Sophomore guard Ashley Hunter finished with 30 points and five rebounds ahead of being named the Region IV Tournament Most Valuable Player. Hennessey Handy added 19 points, seven assists, and seven steals, while Julia Ruzevich pitched in 13 points and eight boards to each earn Region IV All-Tournament Team honors. McHenry County College had four players score in double-figures, led by Grace Gajewski's 17 points. The Scots finish the season at 22-10.

South Suburban College used a huge fourth quarter to rally for the win over the Bobcats, who led 52-47 after three quarters. The Bulldogs led a high-scoring first quarter by a 20-17 tally, then took a 35-31 advantage into the locker room at halftime. The game flipped in the third quarter, with Bryan & Stratton College putting up a 21-12 scoring edge to build the five-point cushion. However, #13 South Suburban produced its highest scoring quarter of the game with 24 points to pull away for their first Region IV title since the 2014-15 season.

Second year guard/forward Danisha Maggette dropped in 26 points, to go along with seven rebounds, three assits, and three steals before being named Region IV Tournament Most Valuable Player. Erica Howard made all nine of her free throws and scored 17 points to join Maggette and Yasmarella Thompson on the Region IV All-Tournament Team. Bryant & Stratton College was paced by reserve Brandilyn Robertson's 13 points as the Bobcats ended the year with a 21-11 mark.

Moraine Valley Community College and South Suburban College each earn automatic bids to the 2019 NJCAA Division II Women's Basketball Championships in Harrison, Arkansas, from March 19-23.

District D All-Tournament Team
Taynique Hawthorne - Bryant & Stratton College
Kiyanna Rodgers - Bryant & Stratton College
Maddie McCoy - Bryant & Stratton College
Yasmarella Thompson - South Suburban College
Erica Howard - South Suburban College

Region IV Tournament MVP
Danisha Maggette - South Suburban College

Coach of the Year
Darrell Scott - South Suburban College


District L All-Tournament Team
Maddie Kaempf - McHenry County College
Grace Gajewski - McHenry County College
McKaylie Krey - McHenry County College
Hennessey Handy - Moraine Valley Community College
Julia Ruzevich - Moraine Valley Community College

Region IV Tournament MVP
Ashley Hunter - Moraine Valley Community College

Coach of the Year
Delwyn Jones - Moraine Valley Community College