Finally feeling good: Mavs excited to have Selsor back on the floor
Mavs excited to have Selsor back on the floor
It didn’t matter that Roger Walters was barking at them Wednesday in practice, lecturing on ball security.
The Colorado Mesa University women’s basketball players didn’t drop their heads and sag their shoulders. They looked him in the eye, nodded their heads and went back to work.
And when they turned the ball over again in the halfcourt set, an exasperated coach simply told them, “I don’t care what you run. Just run the play where we don’t turn it over.”
Pass, pass, cut, screen, pass, pass. Layup.
“That’s my fault,” Walters said to a gym full of grins. “I should have just said to run the play where we don’t turn it over the whole time.”
When you snap a six-game losing streak and your floor leader is back, it’s all good.
The Mavericks (9-12, 7-10) need to keep things going at home this weekend, facing New Mexico Highlands (11-10, 7-10) at 5:30 p.m. Friday and Western New Mexico (0-20, 0-17) at 5:30 p.m. Saturday at Brownson Arena.
“Oh, my goodness,” junior forward Kelsey Sigl said of last Saturday, when the Mavericks beat Chadron State 67-63 for their first win since Jan. 7. “It was a good day. It was like a thousand pounds got removed from my shoulders.”
Sigl’s shoulders took on a lot the five games Katrina Selsor missed with a knee injury, which coincided with senior guard Hillary Duncan’s season-ending knee injury. The leading scorer in the RMAC was the Mavs’ main scoring threat, and opponents knew it.
Last week, though, even before Selsor returned, a couple of the youngsters grew up and started demanding the ball, just what Walters wanted to see.
“With Katrina and Hillary not being in, I’ve been sucking in a lot of attention, so it’s been hard to get anything going, but it’s been easy for me to get things going for my teammates,” Sigl said.
“Luckily Hanna (Bowden) and Leanndra (Gilbert) played outstanding this weekend. Both of them stepped up, and having Katrina back ... that’s always a plus.”
Bowden had a pair of double-doubles last week, scoring 23 points and grabbing 26 rebounds, and Gilbert’s game has improved as she’s gotten more and more playing time. She scored 10 points each night, with eight rebounds against Chadron.
“Hopefully the switch stays on,” Walters said. “We have to have that from them if they’re going to get that many minutes. We know they can do it, it’s a matter of being young and knowing they can do it themselves.”
Selsor, who hyperextended her right knee early against Colorado School of Mines on Jan. 20, played 28 minutes Saturday, scoring 12 points, and her knee has responded well this week.
In the past month, Walters has tried every lineup imaginable, but thinks he’s found the right formula.
“We’ve got two 1s and three 5s and we don’t mess around with the other numbers,” he said, laughing. “They just have to be basketball players; they’re interchangeable.”
Selsor and Tara Gehring will start at guard with the three bigs — Sigl, Bowden and Amy Weitzeil. By the foot, that’s 6-1, 5-9, 6-0, 6-1, 6-1.
“We’re large,” Sigl said with a grin.
But, Walters said, it’s what needed to be done.
“We’re trying to put them in a position to succeed, figure out what we do best,” Walters said.
“Right now it’s not quite what it was at the beginning of the year and we had to stumble through January and mix and match. Now we think we’re on the right track and we’re kind of excited about it.”