CCC Women’s Basketball
The Central Community College - Columbus women’s basketball season has struggled to a 2-6 start, but coaches and players remain confident they have the ability to turn the season around.
It opened with a road loss in Iowa before returning home two nights later for a home win. CCC then dropped four straight before a 15-point win on Nov. 17 put the Raiders back in the win column.
McCook Community College defeated CCC on Tuesday night at home 81-57.
After the Thanksgiving break, the Raiders return to action Tuesday at home against Southwestern Community College.
“It’s been a learning experience for us,” head coach Billy Perkins said Wednesday before practice. “We have a bunch of freshman on the team, but it’s been one of those things where we’ve done some good things and we’ve done some things that we need to improve on.
“The speed of the game has been pretty quick for some of these freshmen. Overall I think we’ve learned a a great deal of things through the course of the season.”
Eleven of the thirteen players on this year’s squad are freshmen.
One of the returning sophomores is captain Alexis Ramaekers - a graduate of Twin River High School.
“It has been difficult, I think, early this season,” Ramaekers said. “Chemistry is a big part of the game. I think later in the season we’ll come together and be stronger. We played a game Saturday, and I felt that our team Chemistry had come a long ways from the first game we played. I think our team is really strong and has a lot of abilities. I think we can go a long ways.”
Ramaekers top performances this season include 16 points and 11 rebounds in the first win of the year then another 16 points and five assists two nights later.
Her point production since then has dipped some though she continues to distribute the ball well and find ways to make an impact.
Ramaekers has been a part of a starting lineup that has normally included 6-2 freshman Averie Miller, 6-foot freshman Monica Brooks, 5-6 sophomore Day zchay Ion Gardner and, most recently, 5-6 freshman Shelly Ross.
Part of the early struggles can be contributed to the strength of the Raiders schedule, playing multiple NJCAA Division I teams early on in the season.
“We’ve played some really good D-1 schools, and some good D-2 schools, but it’s one of those things,” Perkins said. “Every game we’ve played we’ve stepped up to the challenge and played hard. It’s just a matter of keeping it up for four quarters. I think that’s where the transition is. The intensity is different, so to keep that for four quarters is something that has to be done.”
Perkins said he believes that once his team starts clicking and working together that positive results will start to follow.
“We have special things in store for us, if we can stay together as a team and get better,” he said. “Our skill set is good, it’s just a matter of controlling out turnovers and just executing what we need to do.”
CCC is scoring 60.9 points per game while shooting 37 percent and just 24 percent from 3-point range. The Raiders have averaged a rebounding margin of plus-5.6 per game but are also only averaging 12 free throw attempts.
“We’ll be in good shape by the end of the year,” Perkins said. “They work hard, they had a great preseason. It’s just a matter of getting it all kind of gelling together and playing as a team.
“We’re exciting to watch. We have good post kids, we have good guard play. Once it all gels together and for four quarters we’ll be really exciting.”
Peter Huguenin is a sports reporter for The Columbus Telegram. Reach him via email at firstname.lastname@example.org