It has been almost three weeks since the Lewis Clark State women last played a basketball game.
That will change when the Warriors in 22nd place face off against William Jessup, California in a matchup of the NAIA opening round on Friday at 5 p.m. at the Activity Center. According to the NAIA rules, a total of 400 fans are allowed to participate.
The Activity Center is one of eight locations that will host the opening round, which begins on Friday lunchtime. At the national tournament, which will take place March 18-23 at the Tyson Events Center in Sioux City, Iowa, two pods with three teams will battle for two of 16 places.
The men’s team will also host an opening round, with games also starting on Friday.
The last game the women played was on February 21, when they took a 97-66 win over the College of Idaho to win the Best-of-3 Cascade Conference championship series.
Now the Warriors (12-5) must focus on a potentially threatening William Jessup (10-8) team that has had a longer break. You haven’t dressed since February 13th.
“It’s been a long time since we played,” said LCSC coach Brian Orr. âAnd that’s the worry about a long layoff. We tried to rearrange things and give them a few days off here and there, things like that. Our focus was only on this weekend. “
William Jessup is anchored by Miranda Zaragoza, a 6-foot senior post, who ranks 24th in the nation on offensive rebounds per game (3.9), averaging 11.4 points and 8.8 boards overall .
Despite Zaragozaâs scary presence in the painted area, this is nothing LCSC hasn’t addressed during the season.
“We like to think that some of our preseason and regular season games prepared us for this tournament,” Orr said. âPlaying MSU Billings and the same with Carroll (college). They had solid mail players. That will help us in these games. “
Lewis-Clark State went 2-2 against MSU Billings and 1-2 against Carroll College this season, and with multiple tests against high-quality, inward-thinking teams, the Warriors are hoping for it – along with a decorated senior-laden roster – helps them to be a burden on their opposition.
Senior strikers Kiara Burlage (16.8 points, 6.9 rebounds) and Abbie Johnson (12.6 points, 5.9 rebounds) each won the year-end conference awards and are a figure to be relied on can when it comes to smashing the glass and taking the burden on the offensive. Burlage was Cascade’s Player of the Year and Johnson was Defender of the Year.
The Senior Guards Peyton Souvenir (8.8 points, 2.4 steals), Jansen Edmiston (10.6 points, 4.3 rebounds) and the Junior Guard Abby Farmer (8.1 points) each received all-cascade nicks.
LCSC has kept opposing teams off the field on 37.7 percent of the shooting this season, forcing 17.7 turnovers per game, which translates to 15.1 points per night with no takeaways.
Along with seasoned starters, LCSC will also need their strong defense to continue to perform to advance to the final against Carroll on Saturday at 5pm.
“We have to do what we do,” said Orr. âWe have enough managers. We expect everyone to be good (and) we have a lot of different weapons on this team. Right now I like our defensive rotation and we’ve improved. We look forward to playing the opening round at LC and look forward to advancing in our pod. “