Lady Pioneers gain momentum near playoffs

Video by Kevin Lazzaro

By Joe Thornton, reporter

“We’re the spoilers and the underdogs. The ones that are here to ruin everyone else’s fun. All we’re playing for is to crush everyone else’s dream. No worries, no stresses, we just gotta go out and play basketball.”

Delta College’s women’s basketball head coach Shonda Long has gotten her team under the reins and hopes to stay hot as they progress toward the playoffs. With her team being underdogs all season long, they don’t expect any different with the postseason fast approaching. Long is reminding her players of their opportunity for redemption and hoping that they can seize the moment.

“The second half of the season is a fresh start. We’re getting rematches against the teams we played earlier this year, and I reminded them to finish strong. Every conference game we lost this season was by 10 points or less, and this is our chance at redemption against those teams,” explains Long.

Long has seen her players grow this year, both on and off the court. Their evolution as both players and people through physical, mental and emotional refinement has helped the Lady Pioneers to peak at the right time.

“I firmly believe we’re playing our best basketball right now, and that comes back to our players evolving. Harmany Williams has grown immensely as a leader and has enhanced her presence on the court. Marisa Morton has overcome the odds, coming back from a PCL tear earlier this season, putting up 40 points in a recent game. Lastly, Star Farriell has been an essential asset coming off the bench, working hard to improve all season long,” states Long.

As the season’s end draws ever closer, every game matters as the Lady Pioneers shoot for the highest seed possible. For those who are unfamiliar with the playoff process, it is heavily influenced by the March Madness NCAA tournament. With Delta’s current record, the highest possible seed they could get for the postseason would be third seed, and that’s where Long has set the bar.

“Even though every game matters, Schoolcraft and Macomb are the most important, as they’re the current first and second seeds. Even in these important games, it’s vital not to overthink anything. I’m stressing to my players that they just have to relax and should trust in the game plan,” says Long.

Women's Basketball - Feb. 14

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