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Archer Women Seek Return to National Tourney

October 28, 2014

Deborah Holcomb  
Deborah Holcomb was the Archers' leading scorer a year
ago, averaging more than 16 points a game. She is among
the veterans returning for STLCC this season.

Last season, the St. Louis Community College women’s basketball team was one win away from completing three consecutive seasons winning the Region XVI Tournament. The Archers lost to North Central Missouri College in the championship game, and finished 18-7 for the season.

This season, they’re on a mission to rebound from the disappointment of falling one game short of a trip to the National Junior College Athletic Association Tournament for a third consecutive season. Head coach Shelly Ethridge says the players who experienced the tough loss have responded well this offseason.  

“They are highly motivated, and were disappointed with not winning the regional tournament,” Ethridge said. “They have been very dedicated in their workouts, and they have their sights set on the national tournament.”

The Archers will depend on veteran leadership during their drive to get back to the regional title game and beyond this season. Returning players include Brandy Ward (St. Louis, Mo.), Tiara Bradley (Denton, Tex.), Khalilah Morrow (Chicago, Ill.), Nika Ewing (Charleston, Mo.) and scoring threat Deborah Holcomb (Denton, Tex.), who averaged more than 16 points per game last season.

Veteran leadership is something the Archers sees as an advantage, but there isn’t a team captain set in place as of yet. Ethridge goes by certain qualifications, and likes to wait as long as possible to allow the team to select the team captain.

“Everyone has their good days, bad days and different challenges,” she said. “They have to be positive role models on-and-off the floor and in the classroom, and an excellent communicator.”  

Ethridge likes her team’s potential. While they have learned something new from each scrimmage game – during which the Archers were 6-0. Still, Ethridge believes there’s room for improvement.

“This is going to be a total team effort, rather than a freshman or sophomore (effort),” she said. “We do have some freshmen who are potentially going to step right in and help us immediately.”

Incoming freshmen who could boost to an already well-balanced team include Emily Fischer (Fenton, Mo.), Abbey Holtkamp (Centralia, Ill.), Sierra McClure (Cedar Hill, Mo.), Miya Bridges (Kansas City, Mo.), Amanda Hughes (Marshalltown, Ia.), and top recruit Khalia Miller (St. Louis, Mo.). 

Other newcomers to the squad include Dajae Williams (St. Charles, Mo.), Lorielle Little (Chicago, Ill.), Chelsea Maultsby (Augusta, Ga.).

The Archers open the season Friday (Oct. 31) with a 5:30 p.m. contest against Lincoln College in the Lady Lynx Classic. Their first home game is Nov. 19 against McKendree University.