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Women’s Basketball Seeks Third Straight Region XVI Title

March 04, 2014

Kalah Martin  
Sophomore guard Kalah Martin and the Archers crushed
Cottey College 82-47 to earn a berth in the Region XVI title
game tonight against North Central in Sedalia, Mo.

Someway, somehow, Shelly Ethridge’s teams at St. Louis Community College have always seemed to find themselves in a familiar position at the conclusion of the regular season.

Despite having to weather occasional peaks and valleys throughout the 2013-14 year, the Archers and their head coach find themselves on the precipice of a third consecutive Region XVI title. They’ll play for that opportunity tonight, when they take on North Central at 7 p.m. in Sedalia, Mo.

The Archers (17-7) earned a trip to the Region XVI title game against North Central College by defeating Cottey College 82-47. The win was the second in a seven-day span over Cottey, and was arguably one of the more dominant performances of the year by STLCC. The Archers, who had defeated the Comets by just six in the two teams’ previous meeting, outscored Cottey 41-23 in the first half and never relented.

Though the Archers enter the region championship today playing perhaps their best basketball of the season, the path to arrive at today’s result has not always been smooth.

“Usually, when you achieve a high level of success, people will assume it’s come easily, but you don’t always realize how difficult it is,” assistant coach Melanie Marcy said. “The ups and downs, it’s a ride that’s worth it. Our vision finally came to.”

That vision has them opposing North Central College, who was the last Region XVI team to defeat the Archers, in a 68-63 final at North Central on Feb. 15.

A win today would give the Archers one more home game, in the district playoff March 8. The potential matchup would pit the Archers against Mid-South Community College, whom the Archers have already defeated twice this season, for a chance to return to the NJCAA Tournament for a third consecutive year.

The notion of playing for another national tournament berth at home is not lost on the Archers, or Marcy.

“If we’re able to take care of business and to play at home one more time, have a packed gym with a tremendous atmosphere, it would be an excellent environment,” Marcy said.