For the ICC Pirates Women's Basketball team, the stakes for their regular season finale couldn't be higher. On Wednesday night, the regular season came to a close for the Pirates with a win over the visiting Butler Grizzlies, and a regular season conference crown. Going into the contest Independence was certain of two things: that the Grizzlies (17-12, 12-12 in conference) were eager to avenge a one point loss earlier in the season in El Dorado, and a win for the home town Pirates would earn ICC the conference championship.
Led by sophomore guard Eriel West's twenty three points (seven for twelve from the three point line) and balanced scoring from the rest of the roster (seven of nine Pirates scored) Independence Community College (23-6, 19-5 in conference) was able to survive a tough challenge from the visiting Butler Grizzlies.
"Butler really packs it in." Coach Turgeon said. "Eriel getting hot from three really helped us. Spread them out, made them come out and guard us a little bit more. I think the key in general was being able to hit some outside shots (the team shot ten of twenty eight from deep). The way they play defense, that's what they were giving us, so we had to hit some shots. Eriel was fantastic."
With the win and regular season conference title locked up, the Pirates turn their focus to post season play. The opening round of the conference tournament begins Saturday. As the top overall seed, ICC earned a bye and much needed rest.
"First of all, it's nice to have a bye so we can have an extra day to rest, because we're fatigued," Coach Turgeon said. "You know, we've played both, Butler twice and Garden City twice so there's really not that many secrets. At this time of year it's more about us, and how we prepare, how we're going to play, and that's how we're going to approach it no matter who we play."
Independence will play the winner of Butler and Garden on Tuesday, March 1st, at home in the Field House. Tipoff is set for 6pm.