Badger Athletics - Spring Hill College News
Seniors 2013-14
Seniors 2013-14
Women's Basketball - Thu, Nov. 7, 2013

As the Spring Hill College women's basketball program opens its third season under head coach Karen C. McConico, the Badgers find themselves with a solid mix of talented newcomers and experienced upperclassmen that should pay off on the court. McConico has brought in nine freshmen players to shore up her nine returning veteran players and is excited about the results. "While I can't say it has been a seamless transition," McConico says, "I can say that we definitely have added more talent and the new players are starting to buy into our process. Some of them probably thought they had joined a boot camp when they first got here, but freshmen always have to adjust to the speed of the college game and they have to learn to work hard every day."

McConico also admits to being fortunate that her three senior players have been showing the new arrivals the ropes. "It's nice to have a group of senior players that know what I want and how I think," she says. "They know the little things like when I want people to huddle up and when breaks are over, so I don't have to spend time handling those details. That's a part of leadership." Badger senior guards Bria Bohanon of Ponchatoula, La., and Tempey Hamilton of Murphy High School in Mobile are both four-year starters for Spring Hill while fellow senior guard LaSheena Nation of Hanceville, Ala., was a major factor for SHC in 2012-13 after transferring to "The Hill" as a junior. Senior forward Sha Sha Buchanan, who will rejoin the Badgers at the conclusion of volleyball season, is also a four-year starter.

The Badger offense will continue to use an up-tempo style of play this season and McConico sees it being even more effective this season due to her added bench depth. "We have five or six freshman who will make an immediate impact," she says. "As a result, we now have the numbers to run our offense the way it really should be run. Now, my responsibility as a coach is going to be in making the girls believe in running this style of offense and making them understand that playing stretches of three or four minutes at a time instead of 17 or 18 minutes is a good thing."

Running the fast-paced SHC offense will be put in the hands of junior point guards Elissa VandeWaa of Spanish Fort, Ala., and Bethany Collins of Apex, N.C., each of whom have two years of experience running McConico's system. Freshman Amee Smith of Longview, Texas, will also see time at the Number One guard slot as she grows more comfortable in the offense.

On the outside, Bohanon, Hamilton and Nation return along with sophomore sharpshooter Natalie Harper of Greensboro, N.C., and sophomore Armaneé Broussard of Lafayette, La., who both emerged as impact players for the Badgers in the second half of last season. Joining the veterans will be freshmen Amber Perkins of Gretna, La., Kelsey Hill, of St. Petersburg, Fla., Genevieve Larose of Thibodaux, La., and Brittney Davis from Foley, Ala.

In the forward roles, Buchanan will be back with the team in late November, but until then freshmen Kerrie York of Crestview, Fla., Corinne Missi of Yaoundé, Cameroon, Rachel Moorer of Pace, Fla., and Camry Johnson of Faith Academy in Mobile will earn valuable playing time as they rotate the responsibility. "I'm happy and excited about our youth," says McConico. "Maybe we don't have all the skills right now, but we have the right attitude. Last year I think I let up on the team toward the end, but this year we are pushing people to their limits."

In the middle, sophomore center Leah Washington of Houma, La., moves into the starting role after spending her freshman season successfully coming off the bench in big situations.

"We have a feisty 'go-get-it' attitude this year and that's something I like as a coach," says McConico. "We are still young and will experience some growing pains, but our ladies are beginning to understand that this game is about more than just playing hard. They want to do it right and they want to do it this year. Day in and day out, they want to win."

McConico is also under no illusions about how difficult her schedule is this year. "We play in a tough conference and we have a hard schedule," she says. "There are no easy games this season. We'll have to bring our best game every time we play to put ourselves in a position to win, but in the end people will be proud of this team."

The Badgers open the year on Thursday with a non-conference contest at Southern University at New Orleans (SUNO) in The Castle beginning at 5:30 p.m.