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An Army of Six: Women’s Basketball Begins Season with Notably Small Team

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An Army of Six: Women’s Basketball Begins Season with Notably Small Team

Serafina Balderas (Trojans #12) dribbles under the basket for the layup against Whatcom Orcas on Jan. 12. Balderas is the only sophomore on this year’s team.

Serafina Balderas (Trojans #12) dribbles under the basket for the layup against Whatcom Orcas on Jan. 12. Balderas is the only sophomore on this year’s team.

Simon Krane

Serafina Balderas (Trojans #12) dribbles under the basket for the layup against Whatcom Orcas on Jan. 12. Balderas is the only sophomore on this year’s team.

Simon Krane

Simon Krane

Serafina Balderas (Trojans #12) dribbles under the basket for the layup against Whatcom Orcas on Jan. 12. Balderas is the only sophomore on this year’s team.

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On Jan. 12, the Trojans women’s basketball picked up their first win of conference play against the Whatcom Orcas 64-68 at the Walt Price Fitness Center.

Not only did the Trojans beat the No. 8 ranked college in the NWAC Coaches Poll, but did so with a roster of only 6 players. With the small roster size, Trojans women’s basketball came into the 2019 NWAC Season with a story of David and Goliath-like proportions. 

Simon Krane
EvCC Trojans Women’s Basketball win over the Whatcom Community College Orcas 68 to 64 at the Walt Price Student Fitness Center, Jan. 12, in Everett WA.

“This year we have six players, five of which were recruited and they all play very hard for each other. They fly around, they help each other up, they all get bumps and bruises,” said Trojans women’s assistant basketball coach, Rob Balderas.

“It’s been very fun to watch six players come along and gel as well as they have.”

At the beginning of the school year, the Trojans women’s basketball team had 10 players as they began preseason training. “I came in and thought I  wouldn’t play much,” said Trojans freshman guard, Morgan Marshall.

Then three players quit. “One of the players let me know a week before practice started,” Balderas said.

The remaining two players quit the first day of practice. One player told Balderas they were quitting the team that morning. While a second player told him they were also quitting after the practice had ended.

“We all took that personal,”  Marshall said. “ If they are going to leave they missed out; that’s their missed opportunity.”

Trojans Assistant Coach Rob Balderas sees this roster as opportunistic.

“These girls don’t have to worry about playing time. They’re going to get plenty of playing time, plenty of opportunities. They are also going to get plenty of coaching and teaching.”

 

Simon Krane
Kelsey Mellick (#22) completes a layup as teammate Hannah Hezekiah (#14) looks onward. Five of the six players on this year’s roster for the women’s basketball team were recruited.

Even with the small roster the Trojans women’s basketball team still are determined to reach their goal playing in NWAC Championships.

“The goal has always been to make it to the NWAC tournament,” Balderas said.

“I told my girls, ‘Go undefeated win every single game, if we lose a game, win the rest of the games.’”

In order for the Trojans to qualify for the NWAC  championships, there was a high emphasis to concede fewer fouls and emphasize taking the proper measures in player fitness to prevent injury.

“As long they as they do things fundamentally correct they’re going to be fine,” Balderas says.

Not only does the team have to be physically prepared but mentally as well. “We’ve got to be tougher than the people we’re playing against,” Marshall says. “We’ve got to go out with the mentality of we’re the best people, we’re the best players on the court.”

“That plays a huge role in what we’re doing.”

Simon Krane
Trojans head coach, Chet Hovde (center), talks tactics and strategy with his players during a timeout. With a team with a small roster, it’s imperative that the game plan must be followed.

While NWAC does permit colleges to add players on to the roster as the season progresses should they meet the athletic requirements, Balderas only wants to bring on another athlete to play that could work with the current chemistry or build from it.

“If we could find some players that could come on to play and could help the team other than being a body (occupying a spot on the roster), I would say yes,” Balderas says.

“I just don’t want to just bring somebody on just to have a number, somebody who has never played before, somebody who can’t help the girls because that doesn’t help the team be better on the basketball court.” 

I think they’re going to surprise a lot of people this year.”

— Trojans Athletic Director, Garet Studer

“They’re playing really hard and their conditioning is getting even better,” says Trojans Athletic Director Garet Studer. “I think they’re going to surprise a lot of people this year.”

“We definitely see it as an opportunity to rise to the occasion,” Trojans Guard Morgan Marshall says. “This isn’t something we all wanted or anticipated.”

“None of us thought we would be coming in with six players and that’s how the season was going to go for us,” Trojans Guard Morgan Marshall says. “It’s definitely a year we rise to the occasion and show people that they didn’t think we couldn’t do it and we’re looking to win it all. I think that we can.”

“It would be amazing if we could win it all,” she says.

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