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Archer Women are One Win Away from Region XVI Title After Dominating Cottey

March 03, 2013

For a team that hit its roughest patch of the season just weeks ago, the Archers couldn’t be more alive in the postseason hunt after defeating Cottey College 56-36 to advance to the Region XVI championship game today at
2 p.m.

“We felt like we were playing our best ball, like we were putting together our best performance,” Archers assistant coach Melanie Marcy said. “It’s tough to beat a team three times.”

Cottey found that to be the case Saturday, despite beating the Archers by eight in St. Louis, and by 12 in Nevada, MO. This time, neither team managed to mount much of an offensive threat in the first half, which ended with the Archers leading 18-17. The second half, which has served as an obstacle at times for this team earlier in the season, was where the Archers took over, scoring 38 to take control and advance.

“What kept us in the game in the first half was our defense,” Marcy said. “We just needed to settle down, and after that, we came out in the second half and it was a matter of time before we took control. Offensively, it was contagious. You just had a feeling.”

Saturday’s win sets up a championship tilt today at 2 p.m. against Penn Valley. The Archers split their two games against the Scouts, with their last meeting being a 56-51 Archers victory in the regular-season finale.

“We’re playing our best ball, and maybe they peaked early. We were the underdog today, we’ll be the underdog tomorrow, and we like that. It’s one of those things where you hope that your kids rise to the occasion with the things they endured,” Marcy said.

What they endured was seeing their roster numbers shrink to nine after defections and injuries decimated what was a large returning sophomore class at the year’s opening. If the Archers are able to secure their second straight Region XVI title today, they can credit their resilient response to a mid-season slump that saw the team drop five of six games at one point.

“ It started when we beat Wentworth at home,” Marcy said. We’ve been really trying to build on our momentum, and when we started to string a couple wins together, the kids got a lot of confidence. In the Cancer Awareness game, to beat North Central by 20 at our place, that’s when we took on the motto of ‘believe.’ They needed to believe that we could still do it, and do it with nine kids. Anything is possible as long as they play together.”