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Road Warrior Archers Ready for Home Opener Tonight

November 19, 2014

Deborah Holcomb  
Deborah Holcomb ranks sixth in the nation in scoring
with an average of 23.6 points per game.

Winning at home has rarely been an issue for the St. Louis Community College women’s basketball team in the tenure of head coach Shelly Ethridge.

Since the 2011-2012 season, the Archers have posted a 32-8 home record. However, the Archers have been just as dominant on the road from the outset of this season, posting a 7-1 road record to open the year, the best start away from the STLCC-Forest Park campus in Ethridge’s tenure.

“It’s early, but it’s what we were hoping for,” assistant coach Melanie Marcy said. “This is probably the most competitive bunch we’ve had. We expected they would hit the ground running and play hard. It was a matter of fine tuning, and we still have so much to fine tune. We expected them to compete, but it was a matter of getting it done. We’re happy with (the start), but we’re by no means satisfied with it.”

One of the hallmarks of an Ethridge and Marcy coached team over the past three years has been the team’s considerable balance offensively. That balance has been skewed to an extent by the tremendous start to the season by sophomore guard Deborah Holcomb, who is averaging 23.6 points per game. That total ranks sixth-best in the nation, and tops among players who have appeared in five or more games.

While Holcomb has asserted herself as one of the premier scorers in the region, Marcy emphasized that the Archers’ reputation of having a balanced attack is likely to continue.

“Right now, I still don’t think we’re seeing how balanced we can be,” Marcy said. “While we currently have one player who is consistently in the 20s, I don’t think people realized how balanced we can be. We have players who can come off the bench and score.”

The Archers enter tonight’s 5:30 p.m. home opener against McKendree University’s junior varsity with two players averaging double figures in scoring, and another three contributing more than seven points per game. STLCC has outscored its opponents by an average margin of 30 points through the first eight games.

Though they appeared anything but weary on their extended early-season road swing, the return home has come at a welcome time for the Archers, who will play their next seven games at the STLCC-Forest Park gymnasium.

“The coaching staff is ready, the kids are ready, the families and fans are ready,” Marcy said. “It is nice. We go on a stretch at home, so it will be nice to be back home at our own court. It should be exciting.”