The North Idaho College Women’s basketball team has entered the most important stretch of its season up to this point. Four games into conference play, the realization of how critical these next games are has been duly noted. Conference play has been compared to a “gauntlet,” for good reason. Every game brings a new level of intensity and adversity, and pits conference rivals versus rivals. The teams that know how to face this trial usually emerge on top in the end. The NIC players are determined to be one of those teams standing tall when the 16 game conference schedule concludes.
The women have seen a rough stretch amidst an up and down season, to say the least. The team has relied on hustle and energy all season, but the dry spurt is getting dryer with every shot that fails to drop. Lucky for the team, they got off to a solid regular-season start and there is still plenty of time to recover from their slower start in the conference games.
Sophomore guard Whitney Meir noted that the they feel the teams who bested them should have been defeated, with their conference standing currently at 1-3. Their overall record is 10-6, so they won 75 percent of their games out of conference. Many pegged this team to finish at the top of the NWAC, and they still can, if they are able to overcome the little obstacles that are plaguing them from winning on a regular basis.
“We definitely need to play better as a team, and everyone needs to be ready to show up for the whole forty minutes. We always need to stay positive on the court and on the bench, fully tuned in to the game,” said starting guard Cierra Dvorak.
The players understand that a couple good games will get them right back on track. While the team still maintains a winning record, the culture among NIC athletics keeps them striving to improve even in the best of conditions. According to Dvorak, being the best is what drives them to work hard every single day.
In the first sixteen games, there have been a lot of positives, no doubt. Their defensive effort is clear, as they lead the NWAC in steals per contest. Sophomore Dvorak is averaging 4.6 steals/gm, far and away the best in the conference.
The Cards’ scoring leaders are Dvorak and Meir, both delivering just under 14 points per game. Sophomore Ronnie Harris and freshman Sydney Hovde are both averaging double digits as well.
Distribution wise, Dvorak leads the team in assists, dishing out 4.1 per challenge. On the glass, Sydney Hovde is grabbing boards at an average of 8.1 points per game.
The Lady Cards have the skill and personnel to perform at an elite level. They are right to feel confident that they will right the ship. If they do get back on track, look out for a hungry and determined ball club that will gear all its energy towards making a run at the trophy. No matter the case, the Lady Cards should be an intriguing watch down the stretch. Cardinal fans and students will be cheering the team back to their dominant and winning selves.