Lady Archers jump start season

Posted on 20 November 2013 by admin

STLCC women’s basketball begin season 4-1, look to be 7-1 by Thanksgiving 

archerladybasketballBy: SPENCER GLEASON

After a second National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Tournament appearance last season, in as many years, the Lady Archers have jump started the 2013-14 basketball campaign with a 4-1 record.

The 12-girl roster, which is made up of eight freshman and four sophomores, is still new to the basketball program. Although Lady Archers Head Coach Shelly Ethridge has high hopes for her team, she maintains a realistic outlook on the season ahead.

“The season’s been going fairly well,” Ethridge said. “With all the new players that we have and only one returner from last year, I realize that it’s going to take a while for us to be successful and to play the type of ball that I think we’re capable of playing.”

Although still early, the Lady Archers’ season has already seen them face back-to-back Division I basketball programs, in Jefferson College and Rend Lake College. The Lady Archers, a NJCAA Division II program, defeated both, 70-59 and 75-66, respectively.

“We schedule tough games. We schedule teams that we know are going to make us better. We play opponents that are good competition,” Ethridge said. “I’ve never seen a team that gets better by playing teams that don’t elevate their play. In saying that, beating Jefferson County and beating Rend Lake was huge. We’ve won, but I consider it winning ugly because we became sloppy at times.”

Sophomore guard Kalah Martin, who is the only returnee, has been voted a team captain by her teammates. Ethridge’s expectations of Martin have risen since the vote of confidence in Martin by her team.

According to Ethridge, Martin holds all the leadership qualities she looks for in captain, but there is room for improvement.

“Kalah doesn’t always lead by being vocal. She’s the silent leader. She does great in school. She does all the right things off of campus. She does all the work. When school’s out she’s up here practicing,” Ethridge said. “She does all of those leadership-type of things, but I don’t believe she’s ever been in the leadership captain role where she needs to communicate and earn the respect of her players by voicing direction and voicing opinion.”

After an inner-squad scrimmage during practice on Monday, Nov. 18, Martin took the initiative to run with the losing team. According to Ethridge, that is Martin’s style.

“That’s Kalah. I wish the other players would catch on. That’s only going to make her better. She’s going to get in shape faster than the rest of them,” Ethridge said. “Kalah looks at it as a challenge and says, ‘I want to get better.’ That’s exactly her type of leadership. If we had other players do that, their level of play would certainly be a lot better at this point.”

Although they are on a three-game winning-streak, the Lady Archers have three more games to play before they can eat turkey for Thanksgiving.

The upcoming push of games, according to Ethridge, gives her team a legitimate shot at reaching an in-season goal.

“Our goal at Thanksgiving Break is to be 7-1,” Ethridge said. “It’s going to be difficult to reach that. It is something that’s attainable, but we’re definitely going to have play some really good basketball in these next three games.”

With the season still in its infancy, the Lady Archers still have time reach their full stride.

According to Ethridge, once the team camaraderie clicks, her Lady Archers will be a force to reckon with.

“With this team, it’s just a matter of us developing chemistry and getting to know one another,” Ethridge said. “I’m looking at about the three-quarter-season range where we’re actually going to pull it all together and become the team that I think is capable of doing some damage.”


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