New Head Coach says WBB set to ‘Finish Conference Season Strong’

The+2015-2016+San+Jacinto+College+Women%E2%80%99s+Basketball+team+includes+%28back+row+from+left%29%3A+Vanessa+Jones%2C+Kaelynn+Wilson%2C+Jasmine+James%2C+Ahizala+Wright%2C+Ariona+Gill%2C+Jazsmin+Nelson%2C+Kristel+Reid%3B+%28Front+row+from+left%29%3A+Desi+Debase%2C+Zauria+Kilgo%2C+Sarolta+Udvardi%2C+Laneisha+Jeans%2C+and+Gabby+Alvarez.++%0A

Courtesy of San Jacinto College Marketing, Public Relations and Government Affairs Department

The 2015-2016 San Jacinto College Women’s Basketball team includes (back row from left): Vanessa Jones, Kaelynn Wilson, Jasmine James, Ahizala Wright, Ariona Gill, Jazsmin Nelson, Kristel Reid; (Front row from left): Desi Debase, Zauria Kilgo, Sarolta Udvardi, Laneisha Jeans, and Gabby Alvarez.

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San Jacinto College Women’s Basketball is wrapping up a solid conference season before moving on to the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Region XIV tournament March 2 in Lufkin. As of press time, the team has an overall record of 19-10, and 12-7 in conference with one game left before the regional tournament.

Head coach Michael Madrid, in his first season with San Jac, said he is pleased with the team’s growth since the start of the season.

“We dropped a couple of games we should have won early but have put ourselves in a good position to finish the conference season strong,” he said.

Madrid partially credits the later upswing to individual effort, but notes they became a tighter group as the season progressed.

“The team has improved tremendously in many areas,” he said, “but the one that has stood out to me has been our cohesiveness on and off the court.”

Likewise, Madrid notes the players responded positively to changes made on the court which strengthened their performance.

“We are constantly making adjustments for each game and it is important that our players are able to adapt to our changes in order to be successful,” he said.

Meanwhile, Assistant Coach Adonna Weaver said, “We compete in a very competitive conference. Our biggest challenge is being consistent night in and night out. We have to remain focused and healthy.”

According to Weaver, the coaching staff prepares for each game by scouting the opposing team’s plays and tendencies, addressing their team’s strengths and weaknesses, and by creating “energy for our players to feed off of.”

In the final game of the conference schedule, San Jac faces Angelina College for a second time Feb. 27 on their home court. In the first matchup, the Lady Gators won in a blowout 92-61.

Although victorious in the first game, Weaver said the atmosphere will be different for the second meeting because the Lady Gators are playing on the opponent’s campus. She added, “Angelina is a tough place to play and we are looking forward to the challenge.”

The winner of the (NJCAA) Region XIV tournament will advance to the national tournament March 14 through 18 in Lubbock.