Skippers come up short of first, but don’t walk away empty handed
For the second year in a row, fourth place plagues the Lady Skippers in the National tournament as the end of the season met the team in Overland Park, Kansas on March 21, 2014.
The Skippers advanced through the first two rounds of the tournament, defeating North Central Missouri, 80-72, and Monroe College, 79-60, but were trumped by Highland Community College, 64-69, ending a 26-game win streak.
“It’s bittersweet two years in a row,” said head coach, Michael Groulx, “we had opportunities to win it, and we needed to get on top and score.”
The ladies lost against North Iowa, 71-77 in a runner up game which sealed the Skippers into a fourth place title.
“It was the little mistakes that cost us the game,” said forward, Rachel Kehoe.
The semi-final game was close, with 42 seconds on the clock against Highland, Andranay Beverly put three points on the board, making the score 64-66, with SC4 trailing.
“We needed that shot and she came through with it,” said guard, Haley Rutledge, “we just needed a few more minutes and we would have had that game.”
Highland CC, a number two seed out of Kansas, advanced to the finals and were defeated by the number four seed Mesa, out of Arizona.
Groulx, with a two year track record as head coach, has two MCCAA State titles, two NJCAA 4th place titles, and was awarded MCCAA Coach of the Year twice.
With a similar situation happening last year in the semi-finals, Groulx’s Skippers lost by one point against Mesa, 54-64, and fell short in the runner up game against Illinois Central College, 70-51.
“It hurts this year because we were ready to play,” said Groulx, “basically, beating ourselves is what was hard to handle.”
Even though the season is over, and a handful of players are leaving after their two-years, the girls don’t plan on taking much time off.
“Personally, I’m happy to rest,” said Kehoe, “I’ll probably take a day or two off before I start working out again.”
The Skippers were decorated favorably within the MCCAA, as they collectively won over 10 awards.
The award recipients included Sheyna Deans, awarded All-Region XII First Team and All-MCCAA, Ta’kira Height, winning All-Eastern Conference Second Team and Eastern Conference Freshman of the Year, and Whitley Currie, Lariah Stevens and Kehoe all being awarded with the All-Eastern Conference Honorable Mention.