Women tied for first with SLCC in conference
By James Tilson
EPHRAIM—The Snow College women’s basketball team swept Colorado Northwestern to keep pace in the Scenic West Athletic Conference race, remaining tied with Salt Lake Community College for first place.
The Lady Badgers played CNCC twice last week, traveling to Rangely, Colo. on Thursday, and hosting on Saturday. In the first game, Snow beat the Lady Spartans by 20 points, 76-56. And then on Saturday they did it again by a larger margin, 77-51.
But don’t tell Lady Badger Head Coach Mike Russell that his team had convincing wins last week. “Our wins over CNCC were a bit sloppy,” he said.
“We executed better on Saturday, and we played a lot of kids trying to keep healthy, but our game in Rangely was pretty disappointing from a defensive standpoint. We just didn’t do a good enough job following the scouting report.”
His team’s health has become a major concern for Russell, since the Lady Badgers have gone through a series of season-ending injuries lately. Rachel Richards suffered an ACL injury against Southern Idaho in January, and had surgery Feb. 8. And Lourdes Gonzalez fractured her hand in the game against USU-E on Feb. 2.
However, their replacements have stepped up and had great performances. Sydney Pilling has upped her production at the point guard position, putting up some incredible numbers in the time since Richards’ injury. And against CNCC, backup center Micah Gustafson had two double-digit scoring performances.
“Micah is playing more minutes due to the loss of Gonzalez” said Russell. “Micah is next off the bench and she’s done an excellent job in her new role.”
In the first game against CNCC, Gustafson was the leading scorer with 20 points, and also had 10 rebounds. She followed that up with 15 points and 9 rebounds on Saturday.
“Overall, our team has adjusted very well to the injuries we’ve had to overcome,” Russell said. “‘Next player up’ has been our motto and you never know when it’ll be your turn, so you have to be ready. Everyone that’s been called upon to play more minutes and contribute has done a great job doing so.”
With the wins, Snow improved to 19-7 overall, and 7-2 in SWAC play. Th at puts them tied for first place with Salt Lake CC with three games left in the regular season.
“Overall I feel like we are playing well, but I do believe we have more left in the tank… meaning we have more to give effort-wise on both ends of the floor. We have been executing well offensively, which is great to see. Without talking too much about it, our players definitely know what’s at stake and what we are playing for. However, we will continue to take it one game at a time.”
This week, the Lady Badgers travel to USU-E on Thursday and SLCC on Saturday. Then next week, they will host Southern Idaho on Feb. 21 for the last home game of the season.