Bouncin’ back

Posted on 23 January 2013 by admin

The Lady Archers basketball team looks to bounce back through adversity


By: Spencer Gleason
-Sports Editor-

Freshman guard Kalah Martin leaps for the shot over Cottey College teammates Bailey Braden (25) and Petra Stankovic (21). The Lady Archers lost to the Lady Comets in overtime, 82-74, on Jan. 12. Martin scored six points, with seven rebounds and four assists against the Lady Comets. In their 83-82 double overtime win against North Central Missouri College on Jan. 19 Martin scored 29 points, including the game winner. | PHOTO BY: DAVID KLOECKENER

Heading into the New Year on a six-game winning streak, the Lady Archers basketball team looked to stay on the winning track. However, since the ball dropped and 2013 began, the Lady Archers have gone 2-3, with two wins book-ending a three-game losing streak. Their latest victory, a 83-82 double overtime win over the Lady Pirates, came on Jan. 19, when they traveled to North Central Missouri College.

“[This season] has been a little difficult in trying. We’re dealing with some adversity, but that’s going to happen every year. It’s just that this year it’s all happening at one time,” Lady Archers’ Head Coach Shelley Ethridge said. “I’m so proud of these kids because they really have stepped up. We’re becoming more of a team, quite frankly, in dealing with the adversity. Everybody understands that they have a major part and a major role on this team and we’re still going to stick together and fight through all of our battles.”

The 2012-13 campaign for the Lady Archers started off with losing sophomore forward Lauren Maclin, who broke her foot before the season began. Maclin, averaged 7.2 points per game (p.p.g.) and 6.1 rebounds per game during the 2011-12 season, returned for their game on Dec. 7 and scored 12 points  and seven rebounds coming in off the bench.

Just as the Lady Archers began rolling with Maclin back in the lineup, sophomore guard, Datona Ball, went down after tearing her anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and lateral and medial meniscus in her right leg. Ball was the only Lady Archer to crack the Top-50 in the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) in Division II p.p.g. at No. 35, averaging 16.7 p.p.g. Ball is out for the season.

“They look to their right and their left and they’re like, ‘Well, I guess it’s going to have to be you or me.’ They realized that and on Saturday [Jan. 19] they showed that they can still do this,” Ethridge said. “They understand that they are going to have to be ready because they are going to get in there. We don’t have the luxury of having a deep bench anymore. We have to play. We have ten people and everybody probably is going to get in the game.”

The game against the Lady Pirates ended a three-game skid and was the Lady Archers first regional road win this season, giving them an overall record of 11-5.

Freshman guard Kalah Martin used the stage to set a career high in points, with 29, including seven steals, eight rebounds and the game-winning shot with 11 seconds left in double overtime.

“[Kalah] has learned a lot in a short amount of time,” Ethridge said. “I expect a lot out of her and she’s starting to understand that and she’s starting to get there as far as her physical game and her mental aspect. She’s getting stronger. We need Kalah. We need her to play like she played this last game.”

With only nine games left in the regular season, the Lady Archers have the mentality of taking one game at a time. Regardless of the previous game’s outcome, the Lady Archers look toward the next game and focus on what lies ahead.

“We’re going to take one game at a time, especially right now and trying to figure everything out and dealing with all the adversity we’ve been dealing with. The kids know that they have something special with their team right now and their chemistry. That’s what we’re focusing in on,” Ethridge said. “We’ll let the game play out for itself. I know deep down the kids would still like to win the regional tournament and we certainly can do that. We can do it, but we’re going to approach each game one day at a time and focus in on the little things that are going to make a big difference for us.”

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