Beating the odds
By: CHRISTIAN HARGAS
The 2015-16 season did not start well for the Archers Basketball program. The Archers lost eight of their first 10 games as did the Lady Archers. Offense and shooting percentages were inconsistent, the defenses were shaky and the early results were nothing short of disappointing.
Things were bleak, worrisome and fans became concerned with what they were seeing.
Then something happened, something drastic. Both teams got hot, really hot, at the right time. The Lady Archers would finish the regular season with a 13-5 record to advance to the Region XVI Tournament as the top ranked seed.
The Archers defeated Moberly in early January before finishing the regular season with a 10-9 record. Despite losing the last three games, they entered the men’s tournament as the second ranked seed.
At the Region XVI Tournament in Joplin, MO on Feb. 26-27, both teams reached the championship finals.
The Lady Archers defeated the Lady Pirates of North Central Missouri in a two-point nail-biter to advance to the next round. They defeated the Lady Scouts of MCC-Penn Valley in the Region XVI Championship in another nail-biting finish to clinch their third title of the last five years.
The Archers defeated the North Central Missouri Pirate, 96-90, to advance to the men’s Region XVI Championship final. Their season would come to a disappointing end after being defeated by the MCC-Penn Valley Scouts by 21 points, 94-73.
Players, Head Coach Terry Collins and Archer fans were upset at the outcome, but understood the reality of the situation. After the slow start to the season, these players fought hard to reach this point. Losing is not fun for anyone, but they came far from where they began.
Six months of basketball have passed and both teams have reason to be optimistic for next year. The Archers will be fielding an experienced team next season with returning players Sean Rigmaiden, Jason Johnson, DeVonte Harrell, Aleksa Ocokoljic and others. Collins will be looking to add the right athletes to fit the team’s new philosophy, strategy and approach next year.
The Lady Archers will be looking to defend their Region XVI Championship under Head Coach Shelly Ethridge and returning players Shania Thornton, Shamara Glover, Alfreda Roberts, Sheena Bourne- Buckley and others. Despite the quiet start, the Archers Basketball program finished strong and loud.