Continuity has not been a big mainstay for Allen County Community College’s Red Devil women’s basketball program.
The Red Devils open the 2010-2011 season with another new head coach, Marcus Hicks. They do have five possibly six players back from last year’s team but that team only posted an 8-23 record.
“We know we have a lot of work to do in building the program here at Allen,” Hicks said. “In practices and in preseason scrimmages, I’ve seen that when we want to shut down a team, we can defensively.
“That is what we have to dictate games with — our defense. We are not a strong offensive team. We’re going to have to play stellar defense and create some offense with that.”
Hicks does have a strong assistant coach in Sacha Santimano, who played at Neosho County Community College. She played basketball at the NAIA level after two years at Neosho County in Chanute.
“Sacha was a hard-nose player and she brings to our team. She has a wealth of basketball knowledge and is an asset to our program,” Hicks said.
Allen County finished 10th, last, in the Jayhawk Eastern Division of the Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference last year. The Red devils were 2-16 in division play.
The Red Devils open the 2010-2011 season Tuesday at home. Southwestern College’s junior varsity comes to Iola for a 6 p.m. game.
Allen County has three away games then comes home for four straight starting with the Red Devil Classic, Nov. 12-13.
Hicks was out of coaching for two years. In 2007-2008 as head coach, Hicks guided McPherson College’s women to a 19-9 season, finishing third in the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference.
The past two years he has been at Bethany. Part of that position for Hicks was to work with transfer students to Bethany, which put him in contact with a lot of student-athletes coming out of the community college ranks.
“I’m a firm believer in teaching my players that it is important to win in the classroom as well as on the basketball court,” Hicks said.
“Make no mistake, I coach to win games. I don’t like to lose but it’s important for the young ladies I’m coaching to know what works in the classroom as well as what works in a game.”
Hicks has five full-time basketball players back from last year’s squad. He said he was hoping Nicole Rockhold will come back out after she finished playing for the ACCC volleyball team.
Back on the hardwoods for the Red Devil women are sophomores Jazmynn Johnson of Junction City, Kynesha Nisbett of McKinney, Texas, Danielle Best of Cincinnati, Ohio, Maurissa Shaffer of Garnett and Aeriss McNeese of Junction City.
Johnson is a 6-1 forward/post player who scored 251 points and had 137 rebounds, third on the team in both categories last year. She shot 55 percent from the field and 56 percent from the free-throw line.
Nisbett is a 5-8 guard, who scored 142 points and went 16 of 40 from three-point field goal range. She had 26 assists and 34 steals.
Best, who only played in 19 of the 31 games because of injury, had 85 points and 28 rebounds. The 5-8 guard shot 20 of 61 from three-point range and was 13 of 17 at the line.
Shaffer tossed in 86 points plus came up with 62 rebounds. The 5-6 guard handed out 43 assists and made 33steals.
McNeese, a 5-5 guard, scored 121 points and grabbed 76 rebounds. She was 45 of 80 at the free-three line. She had 28 steals.
Hicks has his point guard in 5-6 freshman Queona Walker of Star City, Ark. He said he saw her play this summer and liked what he saw.
“Queona is a tenacious defender and a solid point guard. She has displayed the ability to be the leader for the team,” Hick said.
“She gets people in the right places.”
Hicks said Best is the Red Devils’ top shooter on the court and is working on becoming a sophomore leader.
“Kynesha is our most athletic player and when she’s on, not many people can deny her the basket. Her game needs consistency. Jazmynn is as good as she wants to be inside,” Hicks said.
Hicks said McNeese is a defensive stopper. Shaffer is a hard worker but hadn’t practice much with the team as she was finishing up on the ACCC soccer team.
Rockhold brings a lot of athletisim and leadership skills to the team. Hicks said he wasn’t sure if Rockhold would be back or not, she was still playing volleyball.
The Red Devils have two sophomore transfer players in 6-foot forward Mariah El-Amin for Garden City Community College and Nicole Swick, a 5-10 forward, from Highland Community College.
Hicks said El-Amin brings good energy and is a solid post player and Swick is a powerful presence inside defensively.
Kandace Shields is a 5-8 guard from Southern Coffey County High School in Le Roy. Rackell Goldson is a 5-7 guard, who is at ACCC on a track scholarship.
“Kandace is developing into a nice role player for us. She’s the type of players were after, coming out of successful high school programs. Rackell is quick defensively,” Hicks said.
Hicks said the Red Devils have to execute on offense and take care of the basketball.
“We have to limit turnovers and limit teams’ second-change points. With not a lot of size, we have to box out well for rebounds,” Hicks said.
“If our players choose to play hard and commit to being smart on and off the court, we’ll have a solid year. If we don’t, it will a struggle.”
Hicks said Independence, Cowley County, Coffeyville are strong programs at the top of the Jayhawk Eastern Division.
Allen County Community College
Women’s Basketball Schedule
Nov. 2 — Southwestern College JV, 6 p.m.
Nov. 5-6 — Cottey College Classic
Nov. 5 — vs. Hesston, 7 p.m.
Nov. 6 — vs. Missouri Valley JV, 1 p.m.
Nov. 9 — Pratt, 6 p.m.
Nov. 12-13 — Red Devil Classic
Nov. 12 — vs. Northern Oklahoma-Tonkawa, 6 p.m.
Nov. 13 — Butler, 6 p.m.
Nov. 16 — Dodge City, 6 p.m.
Nov. 23 — Pratt, 6 p.m.
Dec. 1 — Neosho County, 6 p.m.
Dec. 4 — Highland, 6 p.m.
Dec. 6 — Dodge City, 7 p.m.
Dec. 8 — Butler, 6 p.m.
Dec. 11 — Northern Oklahoma-Tonkawa, 3 p.m.
Jan. 5 — Kansas City, Kan., 6 p.m.
Jan. 8 — Coffeyville, 5 p.m.
Jan. 12 — Johnson County, 8 p.m.
Jan. 15 — Labette, 5 p.m.
Jan. 19 — Fort Scott, 5:30 p.m.
Jan. 22 — Independence, 6 p.m.
Jan. 26 — Cowley County, 6 p.m.
Jan. 29 — Neosho County, 6 p.m.
Feb. 2 — Highland, 5 p.m.
Feb. 5 — Kansas City, Kan., 2 p.m.
Feb. 9 — Coffeyville, 6 p.m.
Feb. 12 — Johnson County, 2 p.m.
Feb. 16 — Labette, 6 p.m.
Feb. 19 — Fort Scott, 6 p.m.
Feb. 23 — Independence, 6 p.m.
Feb. 26 — Cowley County, 5 p.m.
Home games in bold.