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Women’s Basketball Overcomes Mistakes to Beat McKendree JV

November 22, 2012

Paige Laird  
Sophomore Paige Laird led the Archers with 18
points in a 61-53 win over McKendree University's
JV squad Nov. 21.

Though it may not have passed the eye test of the Archers’ coaching staff, the St. Louis Community College women’s basketball team held on for a 61-53 victory over McKendree University’s junior varsity Nov. 21 for the team’s fourth win.

Sophomore forward Paige Laird (Wesclin) scored a team-high 18 points for the Archers, and sophomore guard Datona Ball (Quincy, Ill.) added 16.

STLCC took advantage of a 12-point halftime lead, and withstood a late rally by McKendree to extend the team’s home winning streak to 13 games, dating back to Dec. 3, 2011.

The night was not without its struggles, as the Archers turned the ball over 16 times and were held to just 23 points in the second half.

The late-game struggles have shown themselves before this year, as the Archers allowed 48 second-half points in an early-season win over Southeastern Illinois College, and saw a five-point lead at halftime against Malcolm X wither in an eventual 98-90 double-overtime loss on Nov. 15.

“The thing about this team is that we’ve had a tendency to let up,” head coach Shelly Ethridge said. “We’ve been struggling with that in our first six games. We’ve allowed teams back in, and it’s a concern of ours right now.”

Apolonia Thomas  
Apolonia Thomas drives around a McKendree
defender in the Archers' Nov. 21 victory.

What may prove to help the Archers in their second-half showings going forward is the emergence of freshman forward Apolonia Thomas (Cape Central). Thomas made her debut Wednesday following a full season as the starting goalie on the STLCC soccer team, which advanced to the national tournament. Thomas scored four points and grabbed five rebounds in just under 18 minutes on the floor Thursday. Not bad for someone who had just two practices since hanging up the soccer spikes for the season.

“She brings in some positive energy, and that’s needed right now,” Ethridge said. “I did see some soccer moves out there today, which was fun, but she brings in some great strength and athleticism, so she’s going to be very helpful to us.”

The Archers (4-2) will resume play Thursday at home, when they take on Lindenwood University’s junior varsity at 5:30 p.m.