STLCC Basketball Shooting for Nationals in March

Posted on 25 January 2018 by admin

After a series of losses, men’s and women’s teams on uphill swing

BY: MELISSA WILKINSON
Editor-in-Chief

womens basketballArchers basketball is bouncing back after both the men’s and women’s teams seized victory against Metropolitan Community College Penn Valley on Saturday, Jan. 20.

The wins follow an underwhelming start to the semester, with both teams having suffered three losses since the start of January. According to men’s basketball coach Terry Collins, his team has been going downhill since what he called “a great win” against Moberly Area Community College, then ranked eighteenth in the nation.

“I think maybe we got too full of ourselves and stopped doing the things that got us to that point,” said Collins. “We’ve just got to work harder and smarter than we’ve been. We’ve got to get that back.”

Collins, who has been coaching the Archers for three years, said that although the team has been working together since October, they still don’t have a real sense of togetherness.

“Just like a person knows who they are, a team has to develop an identity. That’s how you build great confidence,” said Collins. “We still don’t have that.”

According to Collins, he plans to help the team find their unique image by helping them identify their strengths and focusing on improving them.

“We have an intelligent team. We have really good depth and good rebounding,” said Collins.

Meramec student Jalen Wadlington has been on the team since fall of 2016. According to Wadlington, what’s different about the team this year is the chemistry between players.

“Last year there were a lot of returns and everybody kind of gelled. This year it’s different. It took longer for everyone to learn roles,” said Wadlington.

Wadlington said his team’s greatest strength is their depth, as well as the ability to any player to step up and do what’s needed. Though his personal goal for the season is to work on his defense, Wadlington said the team’s overall goal should be trying to buy into their coach’s vision for how he wants them to play.

“I think it’s more about our preparing,” said Wadlington. “Coach gives us a game plan and I think we just need to do a better job of preparing when it comes to practicing every day.”

Forest Park student Andre Pruitt was elbowed trying to take a charge during the Jan. 13 game against North Central Missouri College and received a sinus injury and a fractured nose.

Despite having to wear a protective mask, Pruitt said he hopes his injuries don’t keep him out of the game for too long.

“Everybody’s cool. Everybody’s got their own type of style,” said Pruitt. “We’ve just got to bring it all together and make it work.”

Women’s basketball coach Shelly Ethridge attributed her team’s previous losses to the skill of the opposition.

“They were very, very good teams. We knew that going into those two contests,” said Ethridge. “We gained a lot out of those two losses. It made us a better team and it prepared us for our second half of the season which is the most critical part.”

Meramec engineering student Erica Waelterman agreed with Ethridge, saying the team “needed” the losses in order to learn from them. Waelterman, an Archer since fall 2016, said her team is larger now than when she started and needs to learn how to stay together as one during games.

“It’s a great group that I’m playing with. Everybody’s got different talent and different needs,” said Waelterman.

STLCC women’s basketball finished fifth in the nation last year. According to Ethridge, her team is gearing up for the Mar. 10 district championship, where a victory means a trip to nationals. Ethridge said that while they have a shot, there’s plenty of work to be
done first.

“We need to get more consistent with our shooting and free throws. Naturally we would like to do better than last year,” said Ethridge. “Right now we’re just taking it one game at a time.”

Ellisha Davis, point guard and Meramec student, echoed her coach’s sentiments.

“As long as we play hard and play good defense we should be fine. I think we have a pretty good chance of going to nationals,” said Davis.

Basketball district championships will take place this March.

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