It's been a long time coming for the Elgin Community College women's basketball program, but the Spartans are officially champions of the Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference.
On Sophomore Night, the Spartans rolled to an easy 80-37 win over Morton at the ECC Events Center Tuesday to secure no worse than a share of their first ISCC title since 2002-03, and the second in coach Jerry McLaughlin's 9-year tenure on Spartan Drive.
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"Since day one our goal has been to win the conference," said ECC sophomore Cassie Dumoulin, the Hampshire product who is on the fast track to her second straight NJCAA all-American honor. "It's taken a lot of hard work to do it but it's definitely rewarding when all that hard work makes it happen."
The Spartans (19-7, 11-2 can claim the title outright at Lake County Thursday night.
"We're excited to clinch but we're not satisfied. We don't want to share," said Dumoulin.
Cassie Dumoulin (7 assists) and freshman guard Carly Saraceno each scored 21 points to lead ECC Tuesday. Sophomore DiJon Smith of South Elgin had 18 points and 11 rebounds and freshman Alex Dumoulin (5 steals, 4 assists) added 10 points and 8 rebounds.
With a comfortable 38-9 lead by halftime, McLaughlin was able to play his other two sophomores -- Bridget Dumoulin (Hampshire) and Rosie Garza (Burlington Central) -- quality minutes throughout the game.
After Thursday's game at Lake County, the Spartans have nonconference tests against Highland, Rock Valley and Joliet before the Region IV tournament begins March 1. The Region IV winner gets a bid to the NJCAA Nationals in late March in East Peoria.
"I've always had the idea that you set your expectations to the highest level and we want to win the Region IV championship and make it to nationals," said Cassie Dumoulin. "We're willing to put in the work for it to happen."
College of Lake County 50, McHenry County College 46: The Scots (2-27, 0-13) were unable to complete a comeback as they fell in this Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference game. Chrishaya Dixon paced the Scots with 18 points while Jerrica Graham and Alyssa Haayer each recorded 12 points.