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Lady Chiefs, Wilk Score Post-Season Awards

Wilk named ISCC Player of the Year

As the saying goes, ‘to the victor go the spoils.’ Waubonsee Community College’s Women’s Basketball team just completed a record-setting regular season, and consequently, individual recognition has followed. The Lady Chiefs’ Ashley Wilk was named the Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference Player of the Year and was also selected to the NJCAA Region IV First Team. Emma Darby was tabbed All-ISCC First Team and Region IV Second Team, while teammates LaDesha Nelson and Bailey Klaas were both named All-ISCC Second Team. Head Coach Dana Wagner was chosen as the ISCC’s Women’s Basketball Coach of the Year after leading Waubonsee to an undefeated league title.

Wilk, a sophomore from Aurora Central Catholic High School, was a consistent contributor in points and rebounds per game. The 5’10” forward averaged 16.9 points and 10.9 rebounds in 14 ISCC games, all Waubonsee victories. Wilk also shot 58 percent from the field, handed out 30 assists, and grabbed 153 rebounds in conference play, including 75 on the offensive end of the court. Overall on the season, Wilk also averaged a double-double as she tallied 15.1 points and 10.1 boards per contest. In 31 games she posted 15 double-doubles, reaching double digits in points and rebounds. Wilk finished the regular season with a team-high 471 points and 311 rebounds, placing her 13th nationally among all NJCAA Division II players in total boards. She hauled down 142 offensive rebounds, tying for sixth overall in that category and 20th nationally with an average of 4.6 offensive rebounds-per-game. Wilk was the Region IV Player of the Week the third week of January after scoring 60 points and grabbing 42 rebounds in three games played.

After suffering a season-ending knee injury early last year, Darby rebounded with a tremendous comeback season. The sophomore from Sandwich High School averaged 16.2 points and 9.2 rebounds per game in ISCC action. The Lady Chiefs’ 6’0” center shot 84 percent (70 of 83) from the foul line and 49 percent from the floor during league games. Overall on the season, Darby averaged 13.4 points-per-game, scoring 403 points total. She averaged 7.5 rebounds per contest, grabbing a total of 226 boards on the season. Darby also blocked 40 shots and posted eight double-doubles. She was named the Region IV Player of the Week for the first week of February after netting 53 points and grabbing 22 rebounds in two Waubonsee victories.

Nelson primarily came off the bench to provide an offensive and defensive spark for the Lady Chiefs. The Aurora West High School graduate averaged 10.5 points-per-game in conference. The 5’7” guard also booked a team-leading 22 three-point baskets, 53 steals and handed out 66 assists on the season, an average of 2.2 per game.

Klaas, a 5’3” freshman from Yorkville, has started all 31 games and stepped into the point guard role after a season-ending knee injury to Alexis Nelson midway through the season. She handed out a team-leading 87 assists and averaged 3.7 assists-per-game in ISCC play. On the season Klaas averaged 6.8 points-per-game, registered 47 steals and shot 73 percent from the foul line.

In her 15th and final season, Wagner led the Lady Chiefs to only the second ISCC title in the program’s history. Hope Semper guided Waubonsee’s women to the league title in the 1992-93 season, finishing 11-1 in conference that year. The Lady Chiefs won the ISCC crown with an unblemished 14-0 record, the first time in seven years that a women’s team has done that in the league. Wagner collected her 200th career coaching victory earlier in the season and finishes with 111 wins in ISCC play.

The second-seed in the Region IV Division II District L Tournament, Waubonsee (25-6) is currently on a school-record 13-game winning streak. The Lady Chiefs’ 25 victories are the most in a single season, eclipsing the program record of 20 wins set in 1982 by Coach Jim Teckenbrock’s squad. Additionally, for the first time in school history, the women’s basketball team was recognized in the NJCAA Division II national rankings, as Waubonsee was ranked 23rd in the final regular season poll that came out February 25.

Four of the Lady Chiefs’ six losses this season have been to nationally ranked squads. They include Rock Valley, Kankakee, Parkland and Kishwaukee, the top-seed in the District L bracket. The Lady Chiefs will meet the seventh-ranked Kougars (26-5) in the Region IV title game this coming Saturday, March 8. Tip-off is set for 2:30 p.m. at Elgin Community College.