July 20th, 2024

Kodiaks playing better as a team

By Lethbridge Herald on December 6, 2023.

Herald FILE photo Lethbridge College Kodiaks’ Kitawna Sparks battles for a rebound against two Lakeland defenders during Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference women’s basketball action last month. Sparks had been relied on as a leader down the strecth of the first half due to team injuries.

By Justin Seward

Lethbridge Herald

The Lethbridge College Kodiaks women’s basketball team having gotten stronger playing together through the first half of the season through many facets of their game.

“It’s certainly been a good start for us,” said head coach Ken McMurray.

“We had one hiccup against Lakeland but they’re a strong team and they caught us not at our best which is OK. But we feel like we would like to have the rematch down the road. And overall, I think our girls have come out strong and they’ve been playing well together.”

McMurray had noticed in the first semester that the unselfish play got stronger.

“When we have a number of girls in double figures, that’s when we’re the toughest to stop,” said McMurray.

“We have had some games this year where Kitawna Sparks has scored like over 30 and good for her, but not our best games in terms of everybody involved. When we’re sharing the basketball and we have a number of girls in double figures, that when we’re toughest and for the most part we’ve done that. But just over the last couple of games with injuries, we’ve kind of had to rely on Kitawna a little bit more than we normally do and she’s had to play a few more minutes than normal.”

McMurray thinks there is a good mix of veteran and younger players.

“I’ve actually been really happy with how the leadership of the older players has really helped the younger players’ confidence,” said McMurray.

McMurray said Kitawna has been exceptional.

“The thing I really like most about Kitawna is she’s a very good passer too ,and she gets very excited when others do well and so she’s been a really good leader as well,” said McMurray.

McMurray has noticed that Tylee Perry has had good stretch  playing point guard.

McMurray has seen Hannah Helton as being a key pick up for the team.

“And she’s added some really good outside shooting and scoring and of course just her experience has been exceptional for us as well,” said McMurray.

Veteran Jocelyn Neilson has been a strong presence for the team.

“She’s been a really solid performer as well,” said McMurray.

“She rebounds well, and she passes well, and she scores and plays good defence.”

Courtney Deemter had a solid first half and McMurray thinks has been the team’s best defensive player.

“She’s had a good first half as well, been really pleased with her,” said McMurray.

“And again she’s got to get back to full health after the break to make us as strong as we are.”

McMurray is heading into the break with two of his starters out with knee injuries and Montana Berezay could be out for the season with a severe ankle injury.

“That really hurts,” said McMurray.

The girls won’t be out of action for too long over the Christmas break as they are heading down to Las Vegas for a tournament prior to holidays.

“I mean that’s going to hopefully keep us sharp up until Christmas break and then the girls need to keep in shape over the break,” said McMurray.

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