Focus on Sports
Skipjacks set to open women's basketball season
Monday, November 14, 2005
WYE MILLS, November 14 Chesapeake College head women´s basketball coach Lowell Shaw expects his Skipjacks to be both more competitive and more entertaining this season.
"We don´t have a lot more bodies, but we have a lot more talent," said Shaw, who expects his eight-player roster to expand to nine or 10 in the next few days. "We should be interesting to watch."
The Skipjacks, who will field a varsity squad this year after playing as a club team last winter, will use a three-guard set to take advantage of the team´s strengths. Freshman guards Sherrie Thomas and Nakia Elliott, who played together several years ago at Cambridge-South Dorchester High, "are probably the two best shooters and the two best ball handlers," according to Shaw, while third guard Monette Malabet (Sussex Tech) "is probably our best defensive player."
Shaw will start a pair of 5-foot-10 bookends Keena Hawkins (North Caroline High) and LaQuorcha Becketts (Snow Hill High) up front. Hawkins "is an outstanding shooter,´ according to Shaw, and Becketts could be the Skipjacks´ top inside threat.
"She can leap and she has good moves inside," said Shaw of Becketts. "She can score inside and she can rebound."
Freshman forward Stephanie Simms (Indian River High) "a hard-working, blue-collar inside player," according to Shaw and sophomore guard Sherika Brown (Lake Clifton Eastern High) are the only current reserves. Well-traveled 6-1 freshman forward Lynn Rose will officially join the team once her transcripts from her previous JuCo stops arrive, and Shaw hopes to have another player or two added right before or soon after Tuesday´s 7 p.m. season opener against visiting Northern Virginia Community College.
Despite all the challenges of building a JuCo program from scratch including losing freshman guard LaToya Purnell (Snow Hill High) to a season-ending knee injury Chesapeake´s second-year head coach feels the Skipjacks are making progress.
"I think we can have a winning season," said Shaw, who will be assisted this season by Teesha Tice. "In fact, I´ll be disappointed if we don´t."
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