Scottie Women Prepare for Conference Action
Scottie Women Preparing for Conference season
The Highland Community College women’s basketball team has had very little opportunity to relish in their #10 National ranking and 11-0 first semester record as they return from Christmas break to prepare for play in the powerful Jayhawk Conference.
Highland is currently 11-0 and ranked 10th in the country, but you would never know it talking to the players and coaches or watching a practice. "What we did first semester is nice, but our goals lie ahead of us. This team is working really hard at establishing Highland women's basketball,” stated Head Coach BJ Smith. The Scottie women have not had a winning season since the 1983-84 season. When asked about this, Smith said, "I really don’t think the past will dictate our future. I am sure there were some great accomplishments and players in the past, but our goal is to build a program and meet expectations that we set.”
Their are nine freshmen and no returners on the Scottie roster. Freshman Kathryn Thomas (Flint MI) leads the Scotties in scoring at 20.7 ppg and is third on the team in rebounding at 5.8 rpg. Sophomore transfer Sharniece Lewis (Warrensburg, MO) leads the Scotties in rebounding and is second in scoring at 12.7 ppg. Both were asked about the keys to their season so far. Lewis stated, " We have worked harder than I thought possible since the day we got here. We have sweated, cried, and pushed each other. We know there is a long way to go, and we want to be the best we can be at the end of the season.” Thomas added, "We get better every day. Everybody is learning, and we are learning together. We know it will not be easy, but nobody in one of our uniforms is gonna quit.”
Veteran coach BJ Smith, who has been to the NCAA tournament, NJCAA National Championship game, and the NAIA national tournament was asked about the keys to their early success. "Highland is a tremendous situation for people who are serious about their future. We have incredible facilities, great leaders who have the kids’ futures as their number one priority, and we have some great kids who have a chance to establish a lot of firsts. If we can focus on the day to day work for the next two months, everything else will take care of itself.”
The Scotties, who earned a 3.05 team gpa first semester, return to action January 4 at home against #1 nationally ranked Johnson County, then on the road at #11 ranked Independence. The Jayhawk Conference currently has five teams ranked in the top 20. "It won’t be easy, but if we can pass the ball to somebody in the same color uniform and the creek don’t rise, we will win a few games this semester," said Smith.