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Neosho Daily News - Neosho, MO
  • Lady ‘Riders tip tonight

  • Coming off a successful 23-9 campaign a season ago, the Crowder basketball team looks to build off that success when it kicks off play at 6 p.m. tonight in the season opener against Independence Community College in Chanute.
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  • Coming off a successful 23-9 campaign a season ago, the Crowder basketball team looks to build off that success when it kicks off play at 6 p.m. tonight in the season opener against Independence Community College in Chanute.
    The Lady ‘Riders are hoping depth doesn’t become an issue this season as they have seven returning players and four newcomers on the squad. Expectations are high, however, as the team returns four starters to the lineup, including several statistical leaders from last season.
    Returning starters are Sarah Sagely (5’7 guard), Terai Sadler (5’11 forward), Caprese Marshall (5’7 guard) and Veronica Amos (6’ forward). All four contributed heavily to the success of the team last season as Sagely and Marshall led the team in scoring at 9.6 points per game. Sadler came in at 8.6 per and Amos at 6.8. Amos also led the team with 7.9 rebounds per while Sadler came in at 7.6.
    Also returning for the Lady ‘Riders are Chloe Nichols (5’10 forward), Caitlin Miller (5-5 guard), and redshirt freshman Seleena Neal who is returning after suffering an ACL injury.
    They’ll be joined by newcomer’s Camila Lacerda, a 5’6 point guard from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Dorian Briggs, 5’8 guard from Fort Smith, Ark., Megan Ritter, 5’7 guard from Jay, Okla., and former McDonald County High School standout Callie Shaver, a 5’5 guard.
    “We’re excited to have a veteran group returning with a lot of playing experience,” Crowder coach Tina Robbins said. “We also have a few newcomers in the mix, and we’re excited about what the season can hold for us.”
    With Amos standing in as their tallest player, height and depth are two things to keep an eye on this season. Robbins said the team must avoid foul trouble, injuries and rely on its experience. If those things work out, this could be another fine year for the Crowder program.
    “I think our experience is definitely a strength for us,” Robbins said. “Having that many that are returning is a big plus.
    “We don’t have a lot of height, so defending in the post is an area of concern,” she added. “But we have a lot of speed up and down the floor.
    That’s the style we prefer is to get up and down the floor. Hopefully we can stay healthy and stay out of foul trouble, because we do have the limited number of kids.”
    The health concern is magnified a little more right now as the Lady ‘Riders are already a bit banged up entering the season. With a number of scrimmage games already under their belt, some injuries have crept up that will leave Crowder without Amos, while several others are questionable with nagging injuries this weekend.
    Page 2 of 2 - “We’re not really healthy right now,” Robbins said. “There’s a possibility we may only have eight (players this weekend). We expect two tough games on the road this weekend, and obviously we’ll have to have a total team effort and have some (players) step up for others that are injured. But everybody is excited to get out and play for real.”
    Robbins said she has seen some good things from her squad leading up to the season opener.
    “We’ve seen some areas that we need to work on, but overall I’ve been happy with what I’ve seen from the scrimmages so far. They play well together and they’re a very close-knit, tight group and they play hard.”
    After taking on Independence today, the Lady ‘Riders will return to the floor with a 4 p.m. game against Neosho County in Chanute before opening their home schedule at 6 p.m. Tuesday against Seminole at Bob Sneller Gymnasium.
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