The season for the Women’s Basketball team is officially underway. They started the season off with a 70-66 victory over the number 11 team in the national preseason polls. JBU followed that up with a 73-point victory over Ecclesia. With the season off to a great start, the Lady Eagles are looking to build on the progress they made last year where they finished 18-16 with a loss in the conference semifinals.
The majority of the team has returned including senior guard Kodee Powell, junior wing Jana Schammel and last year’s SAC freshman of the year Baily Cameron.
“We have a good group of returners and the new players fit in with what we are trying to do really well,” Schammel said. “It makes for practices being very competitive and we have just built a good constructive atmosphere here.”
The Lady Eagles look to take a step forward this year as each player worked hard to individually improve.
“Some big things for our team this next season is Bailey Cameron gained a ton of valuable experience and is looking to really improve,” Powell said. “Preslea Reece is really coming into her own, she has tremendously improved.” Schammel added, “I feel like the really cool thing about our offense is that on any given night we are able to take advantage of what the defense gives us. Both our guards and our inside posts are effective scorers and can handle mismatches really well which gives us the ability to have a very diverse and flowing offense. On top of that everyone on the team has a decent outside shot and we can score in transition very well.” The Eagles will look to have a very aggressive offense, and the first two games have definitely shown that.
The Eagles showed their potential to win multiple different ways already this season. In their blowout of Ecclesia, everyone on the team scored and six players were in double figures. In their heavyweight season opener against number 11 Benedictine, the team relied heavily on their inside scoring from Cameron and Reece, and the outside scoring of Powell. The three combined for 57 of the team’s 70 points in a tight victory.
Whether they are relying on star power or showing offensive balance, scoring inside or outside, in the half-court or in transition, the Eagles should boast a very effective offense in their 2016-17 campaign. On top of their offense having the potential to be top notch, the Lady Eagles also out rebounded both of their opponents so far this season.
A mark of every great team is focus on the details. The Golden State Warriors (who broke the NBA’s season win record last year) could be heard in many postgame interviews discussing, even seemingly obsessing, over the little tweaks and changes they could make to improve.
“Our goal is continual improvement and focusing on the little things every day,” Schammel said. “Winning conference and making the national tournament would be great but us as players and our coaches have come together with the goal to just take the season one day, one game, one practice at a time. Our goal is continual improvement and focusing on the little things every day. . . I feel like if we stay focused we can accomplish big things together.”