Saturday, February 10, 2018

Metamora Girls Basketball alumni Heather DeLuca and Abby Coates preparing for first game against each other

Abby Coates (left top and bottom) and Heather DeLuca (right top and bottom)
are set to face off as opponents for the first time on February 14th.
PHOTOS / CHRISTOPHER LEE

Watch LIVE on Periscope | Click HERE to view the game!

Germantown Hills, IL - Heather DeLuca and Abby Coates used to be two of the starting five for the Metamora Lady Redbirds back in the 2015-2016 season, but things have changed.

Coates has just started her collegiate career with the ICC Women's Basketball program, and Heather DeLuca is in her final year as a member of the Parkland Cobras Women's Basketball program. Once teammates, they now find themselves on rival teams. 

The Parkland Women (17-5) are ranked 18th in the latest NJCAA D-II poll, while the ICC Women (19-6) are ranked 14th. Coates thinks that it makes the game even better in a sense, given that she'll be going up against a former teammate in a critical rivalry, region, and conference game.

"They are a school we look forward to playing every year, so that, on top of Heather being on the team, it should make for a fun game!"

The ICC freshman says that she looks forward to seeing where things have come over the last few seasons of their respective careers.

"Our high school practices together were always competitive, so I am excited to play on the floor with her again! It will be fun to see how far we have both come in the last two years."

Coates also thinks that there are multiple things that she had learned at Metamora that she's been able to make part of her collegiate game as well, those being "ask questions if you're ever confused, hard work beats talent every time, and defense wins games".

She went on to talk about how it doesn't even stop there.

"There are so many things I learned at Metamora! I was so fortunate to be in an awesome program for four years!"

As for DeLuca, not only her collegiate basketball career, but her basketball career as a whole is winding down. The 2017-2018 season will be DeLuca's last season of competitive basketball. The Parkland sophomore will move on to Arizona State in 2018-19 and is looking towards a degree in Management.

DeLuca shares the excitement of Coates when it comes to playing against each other, even saying this is something they've discussed in the past.

"I'm excited to play against Abby. We have been talking about this game ever since she committed. It will be different to play against her instead of with her but I'm definitely looking forward to it."

The Parkland-ICC rivalry is not an entirely new experience for DeLuca. She played the Cougars twice her freshman year; once at East Peoria, and the other time in Champaign for the Region Tournament. She thinks these two teams will match up well.

"Parkland and ICC have always been rivals and the games have been competitive in the past. Both of our teams have been working hard to improve throughout the season. Between our hard work and the rivalry, it will for sure be a good game."

Coates and DeLuca had a lot of praise for the Metamora program. DeLuca went on to talk about how much the Lady Redbirds Head Coach Brianna Morrow, as well as her former teammates have meant to her.

"If it weren't for Coach Morrow and my teammates while playing at Metamora, I wouldn't be at Parkland now."

DeLuca says that she has taken the "importance of teamwork and hard work" over from Metamora into her career with the Parkland Cobras.

Given it is her final year as a basketball player, DeLuca says she has "learned a lot about myself and about the game of basketball".

Brianna Morrow weighed in on the big game as well. The fourth-year head coach at Metamora is looking forward to this one.

"I think it'll be a fun, exciting game between two good teams and two good friends. It's been so much fun to watch them grow as players and as people."

Morrow also thinks they'll have "a lot of fun" going up against each other, and even saying that "I guarantee they'll each play their butts off!"

The key rivalry game tips off from Champaign next Wednesday, February 14th, at 6:00 pm.

Abby Coates Season Stats: 
  • Field Goals | 88 for 169 (52.1%)
    • FG % is ranked 43rd in NJCAA D2
    • FGs and FG % - 2nd on Team
  • 3's | 0 for 5
  • Free Throws | 38 for 59 (64.4%)
    • FTs - 3rd on Team
  • Rebounds | 175
    • TEAM HIGH
  • Assists | 43
    • Ast | 5th on Team
  • Steals | 45
    • TEAM HIGH
  • Blocks | 33
    • Ranked 31st in NJCAA D2
    • TEAM HIGH
  • Points | 214
    • Points | T-3rd on Team
  • Points Per Game | 8.6
    • PPG | 5th on Team
Heather DeLuca Season Stats:
  • Field Goals | 57 for 157 (36.3%) 
  • 3's | 12 for 60 (20%)
    • 3's | 3rd on Team
  • Free Throws | 26 for 40 (65%)
    • FTs | 5th on Team
  • Rebounds | 71 
  • Assists | 71
    • Ast | 2nd on Team
  • Steals | 33
    • Stl | 2nd on Team
  • Blocks | 0
  • Points | 152
    • Pts | 5th on Team
  • Points Per Game | 6.9

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