INA, IL (Oct. 20, 2021) – The Rend Lake Lady Warriors are looking to be bigger, faster and stronger this year in hopes of building upon the success of seasons past.
“We look to be one of the first women’s teams at Rend Lake in many years to go to the National Tournament,” Head Coach Dave Brown said. “This squad has had a tremendous run at Rend Lake College and setting the culture.”
The Lady Warriors open the season with the Baton Rouge Classic on Nov. 5 and 6. The first home game is set for Nov. 9 against Illinois Central College.
Brown said many of the players assembled are poised to play high-level basketball. And he’s not the only one. World Exposure Report recently put Rend Lake in its NJCAA Division Preseason Top 25.
Brown stated that the Lady Warriors will be a tough, fast-paced and experienced team this year that packs on high-pressure defense. Sophomore guards Ma’Kayla Marshall (Baton Rouge, LA) and Niya Danfort (St. Louis, MO) were two of the top seven steals leaders in the nation, with 64 and 74 steals respectively.
Also returning is forward Dais’Ja Trotter (Louisville, KY), who was an honorable mention for NJCAA D-I All-American. Trotter consistently put up big numbers for Rend Lake last year and will be a force to be reckoned with again this season. Brown said she was sixth in the nation in points scored last season with an average 19.6 points and 9.7 rebounds per game.
Guard Megan Barton (Carterville) comes back to round out the starting five. Barton averaged 12.9 points and 5 rebounds per game. She was named the NJCAA Region XXIV and Great Rivers Athletic Conference Freshman of the Year. Barton will be one to watch again this season as she has the potential to post a double-double each time she hits the floor.
Marshall, Danfort, Trotter and Barton were named to the 2021 NJCAA All-Region XXIV Team and the Great Rivers Athletic All-Conference Team. Marshall also received the GRAC Sportsmanship Award.
Rounding out the starting five will be 6-foot, 5-inch freshman center Megan Hallemann (Sorento), a pivotal player whose height and gameplay will pay off on both ends. While playing for Greenville High School, Hallemann set a school record with 557 rejections during her three-plus varsity seasons. Her career total blocks put her sixth on the Illinois all-time list.
“Megan will be a problem to so many teams with her inside-out play,” Brown said.
Rend Lake’s deep bench will also bring out a new level of play, and many of the newcomers are ready to show what they can do. Brown said guard Mackenzie Bruns (Paxton) is a “do-it-all player,” Samya Johnson (Florrisant, MO) can match up to anyone and shooters Jaice McCowen (Walonville), Emma Rush (Vienna), Dalaya Johnson (Euclid, OH) and Gabrielle Nielson (Campbell, MO) “will make us elite.”
With the season opener just around the corner, the Lady Warriors will definitely be ones to watch.
“We hope to build on great team play and make sure our players who come off the bench grown into major contributors for the year,” Brown said. “Top to bottom, every person matters on this team. When this year is done, this will be one of the best teams RLC has had. True Warriors! It’s up!”
October 2 Jamboree Lawrence, KS T.B.A.
November 5 Southwest Mississippi CC Baton Rouge, LA 7:00 p.m.
November 6 Baton Rouge CC Baton Rouge, LA 11:00 a.m.
November 9 Illinois Central Ina, IL 5:30 p.m.
November 12 Moberly Area CC Poplar Bluff, MO 5:00 p.m.
November 13 Three Rivers CC Poplar Bluff, MO 3:00 p.m.
November 15 Highland Ina, IL 5:00 p.m.
November 23 Southwestern Illinois Ina, IL 5:00 p.m.
December 1 John A. Logan Carterville, IL 5:00 p.m.
December 4 Shawnee Ina, IL 1:00 p.m.
December 8 Lake Land Ina, IL 5:00 p.m.
December 11 Wabash Valley Mt. Carmel, IL 1:00 p.m.
December 15 Jefferson College Ina, IL 5:30 p.m.
December 17 Lewis & Clark Ina, IL 5:30 p.m.
December 18 Olney Central Olney, IL 1:00 p.m.
December 28 McHenry CC, ICC Tournament Peoria, IL 4:00 p.m.
December 29 ICC Tournament Peoria, IL TBA
December 30 ICC Tournament Peoria, IL TBA
January 5 Jefferson College Hillsboro, MO 5:30 p.m.
January 17 Lincoln Trail Robinson, IL 5:00 p.m.
January 19 Kaskaskia Ina, IL 5:00 p.m.
January 22 Southwestern Illinois Belleville, IL 1:00 p.m.
January 26 Lincoln Trail Ina, IL 5:00 p.m.
January 29 John A. Logan Ina, IL 1:00 p.m.
February 2 Shawnee Ullin, IL 5:00 p.m.
February 9 Wabash Valley Ina, IL 5:00 p.m.
February 16 Olney Central Ina, IL 5:00 p.m.
February 22 Vincennes University Vincennes, IN
February 26 Kaskaskia* Centralia, IL 1:00 p.m.
Keva New Holy guard (Anadorka, OK)
Samya Johnson forward (Florissant, MO)
Jaice McCowen guard (Waltonville)
Ma’Kayla Marshall guard (Baton Rouge, LA)
Emma Rush guard (Vienna)
Dalayah Johnson guard (Euclid, OH)
Dais’Ja Trotter forward (Louisville, KY)
Megan Barton guard (Carterville)
Mackenzie Bruns guard (Paxton)
Niya Danfort guard (St. Louis,MO)
Megan Hallemann center (Sorrento)
Gabrielle Nielson forward (Campbell, MO)