Looking to turn the corner
CSM women at 1-5 early on with 4 home games in 8 days upcoming
In the wake of falling to visiting Community Col- lege of Baltimore County-Catonsville at home on Monday evening, College of Southern Maryland freshmen Brittany Coles and Tamara Burns both cited the 60-42 setback as reflective of one quar- ter of play rather than the game in its entirety.
CSM (1-5, 1-3 in the Maryland Junior College Athletic Conference after a 98-38 loss to Harford on Wednesday night) stayed close with Catonsville until late in the first quar- ter when the Cardinals scored the last four points of the frame to claim a 15-8 lead. The second quarter clearly belonged to the visitors as Catonsville out- scored CSM 19-7 to forge a 34-15 lead at the inter- mission which brought upon steep criticism from second-year head coach Ardell Jackson.
“That second quarter was all about not playing well defensively,” said Burns, a Fairfax High School alum who has since relocated to Wal- dorf. “Coach brought me here for my defense and my ability to run the of- fense. That second quar- ter we did not play good defense and that forced us to fall behind.”
Coles, a Westlake High School graduate from Waldorf who played under Jackson at Westlake, admitted the first few minutes of Jackson’s halftime speech were considerably louder than pleasant. But it was the wakeup call the Hawks needed before heading back to the floor for the second half. CSM outscored Catonsville 1210 in the third quarter to keep things respectable.
“Coach really got us on pretty good at halftime,” Coles said. “We were not playing good defense. That’s where it all starts on defense. The team has to learn that it takes a complete effort to win [in college]. We have not been getting the effort from everyone all game. Sometimes it’s three or four girls who play 100 percent and some nights it’s another three or four girls. But we haven’t played a whole game yet.”
Burns and Coles were both looking forward to an extended home stand that continues with four games in eight days with tonight’s meeting against Johnson County Community College of Kansas. Prior to Monday
night, the Hawks had played only one home game. Next week will also be a test of their durability since both are fulltime students and also work part-time jobs.
“I want to win every game,” Coles said. “I can’t wait. We have four home games [in eight days] and it will be great being able to go to school and then not having to travel for a game. We can still get things turned around. We have to play better on defense and we have to work more together on of- fense. We’re a young team so the ex- perience is not there yet.”
“If we play the way we’re capable of playing, then we can win a lot more games,” said Burns, who is eager to face Northern Virginia Community Col- lege since that school is near where she
played in high school. “But it all starts with our defense. If we can get stops, then we can run our offense.”
Jackson described the squad as a “work in progress” primarily because the Hawks have only one returning player, sophomore Akilah Stroman, a St. Mary’s Ryken High School graduate from White Plains, and nine freshmen. Monday’s performance against Catonsville was not what Jackson had hoped for, but the second half of that contest in which the teams basically traded baskets for 20 minutes, was promising.
“We still have a lot of work to do, especially on defense,” Jackson said. “I’m a defensive coach and what I saw on Monday night was not acceptable, especially in the first half. In college, you can’t just sit back in a zone. There are too many players that can shoot from the outside. This is a lot different than high school. We have talent, but we don’t have a lot of experience since we’re young.”
Erica Silver, center, heads to the basket during Tuesday’s practice at the College of Southern Maryland with Paris Ferguson, left, a Great Mills High School graduate from Great Mills, and Brittany Coles, a Westlake High School graduate from Waldorf, trailing behind. Silver, Ferguson, Coles and the Hawks are looking to turn around a 1-4 start to the 2016-17 season
The College of Southern Maryland women’s basketball team look to turn around a 1-4 start to the 2016-17 campaign with four home games in eight days that begins tonight.