Both logistically and in terms of enrollment of the other schools, Nokomis seemed to be a perfect fit for the MSM Conference in 2021. As it turns out, the Lady Redskins were a pretty good fit on the court as well.
After earning at least a share of the conference championship with their victory over South County on March 3, the Lady Redskins earned the title outright on Friday, March 5, with a 51-26 victory over the fledgling Lincolnwood girls basketball program.
From the opening tip, Nokomis took it to the Lancers, utilizing Audrey Sabol’s size and strength advantage in the post, along with the speed of the Redskin front court.
Sabol and fellow sophomore Emma Sneddon helped Nokomis get out to an 8-0 lead, before Maggie McClelland put Lincolnwood on the board with an old fashion three-point play.
McClelland would sink another basket later in the quarter, but Nokomis would hold the rest of the Lancers scoreless as they led 14-5 after one. Sabol finished the quarter with six points, while Kristen Stauder added four.
The Redskins put together another long scoring streak in the second as they outscored Lincolnwood 8-0 before the Lancers got on the board with a bucket by Haelee Damm. Addison Dangbar and Stauder led a balanced attack, getting two and three in the run as they went on to score 11 of Nokomis’ 15 points in the quarter.
Lincolnwood scored twice more in the final three minutes, but still trailed 29-11 at halftime.
The third quarter would be the best of the game for the Lancers, who were minus Coach Justin Millburg for the game as Assistant Coach Courtney Bounds (a Nokomis alum) stepped in.
The visitors would have success on a back cut under the rim several times in the quarter, with the play yielding a couple of baskets for Katelyn Payne and Cassie Krager.
Nokomis would match the Lancers point-for-point though, outscoring them 8-7 to up their lead to 19 points.
Coach Brandon Engelman would use his bench early and often in the fourth, with Cydney Bertolino (six points) and Carley King (four points) leading an 14-8 quarter for the Redskins.
Lincolnwood got as close as 19 in the quarter, but Nokomis scored the final six points to pull out the 25-point win.
Sabol would finish the game with 13 points and seven rebounds as Nokomis pulled out the comfortable win to clinch the championship. Kristen Stauder added 10 points and four rebounds, while Addison Dangbar had eight points, three assists and two steals.
In addition to Bertolino and King, Emma Sneddon finished with five points and four steals, Natalie Engelman had three points and Mia Fesser had two points and a team-high six assists.
Lincolnwood was led by Cassie Krager, who scored eight points for the Lancers. Maggie McClelland finished with five, while Avery Pope and Katelyn Payne had four each. Sophie Rainwater closed out the scoring with two points for the 1-10 Lady Lancers.
Lincolnwood will wrap up the 2021 season this week as they host Illini Central and Beardstown. Nokomis, who played Carrollton on Saturday, March 6, has four games left on the calendar, starting with Father McGivney in Glen Carbon on March 8 and Pana at home on March 10.
March 5 at Nokomis
Lincolnwood 5 6 7 8 26
Nokomis 14 15 8 14 51
Lincolnwood (26) - Cassie Krager 8, Maggie McClelland 5, Avery Pope 4, Katelyn Payne 4, Haelee Damm 3, Sophie Rainwater 2. Totals: 11 4-10 26.
Nokomis (51) - Audrey Sabol 13, Kristen Stauder 10, Addison Dangbar 8, Cydney Bertolino 6, Emma Sneddon 5, Carly King 4, Natalie Engelman 3, Mia Fesser 2. Totals: 20 9-19 51.
Three-point field goals: Lincolnwood 0; Nokomis 1 (Dangbar 1).
Records: Nokomis (9-3, 6-0); Lincolnwood (1-10, 0-6).