Lady Crusaders’ season falls short of the rim

Lady Crusaders’ season falls short of the rim

Brayden Allen, Sports Writer

The struggles on the hardwood have become an unfortunate but common occurrence for the North Greenville women’s basketball team as they power forward into the final stretch of the season. 

After opening the winter with seven straight losses, the future didn’t look bright. For many the 2023 season looked to be a familiar but less than exceptional repeat of previous seasons.

In the past two, the Lady Crusaders have managed to only put up a total of eight games in each season, with the last successful winning season dating all the way back to 2011. 

The team hit an extreme barrier on the offensive side of the ball as shooting percentage continued to be an issue. In four of the first seven matchups, the buzzer sounded with an over 20 point deficit for the squad. 

However, despite all of the strain, the season still had its share of slam dunks. The Lady Crusaders got off to a good start in Conference Carolina’s play going 4-2 with two wins over Barton, and wins over Lees-McCrae and King. 

This was an improvement from just a season ago as the team started 3-3 in conference play in 2021.

The December 3rd win over the Barton Bulldogs saw the team reach a season high in rebounds. Sophomore Angie Rodriguez and freshman Amareya Turner each recorded 14 a piece as each player looked to use this season to make a stronger impact. 

Junior Jayda Glass fights her way to get around a Lees-McCrae defender. Wednesday, December 14 2022.

In the 26 point victory over the Bobcats of Lees-McCrae, the team put on one of their best performances of the season as three different players made a big impact. Junior Jayda Glass once again put her name at the top of the stat sheet scoring 24 points while racking up eight rebounds, a steal and 11 total assists, a season high. 

Glass’s performance was just two rebounds short of earning her the triple double. Junior Abi Oates tacked on 18 points of her own, recording three steals, a block and an assist while Junior Maliyah Lockett finished with nine points, two assists and 10 rebounds. 

“We played together and shared the ball, and that is how we are most successful,” Oates said. “When we play together, we’re hard to guard, which allows for different people to score.”

Unfortunately, the struggles only continued for the team, specifically on the offensive side of the ball. The Lady Crusaders dropped the next six games with opponents outscoring by an average of 30 points per game. 

The road doesn’t get any easier for the group as seven key games remain on the schedule. The squad already has their sights set on closing out the season on a high note. 

Rematches are ahead with opponents Converse, Lees-McCrae and Emmanuel. February 15th’s game against the Lions is a must win as they currently sit at 4th in the Conference Carolinas standings.

In addition, the Lady Crusaders will face Erskine and Francis Marion. Once again February’s two matchups against the Patriots will be must win situations for the squad as Francis Marion currently sits at 3rd in conference standings. 

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