Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

January 12, 2013

Concord women relying on team play

By TOM BONE
Bluefield Daily Telegraph

ATHENS — By TOM BONE

Bluefield Daily Telegraph

ATHENS — Just when it looked as if the Concord women’s basketball team was pulling out of its injury-plagued stretch, Andrea Bertrand’s shoulder has forced her to the sidelines again.

Once again, others will try to share the scoring and rebounding duties when Concord (4-9) hits the floor to take on league-leading Fairmont State University (8-3) today at 2 p.m. at the Carter Center in Athens.

In her return on Jan. 3, Bertrand had 30 points and 11 boards in her return from her shoulder separation in an 81-69 loss to Charleston.

She had 20 points, 11 rebounds and two steals in Concord’s last game, a 72-48 win last Monday at Ohio Valley University. She had 13 points and two more steals in an 89-69 loss at Bluefield State last Saturday.

“I was really excited to get back, to come back and help the team as much as possible,” she said on Friday. “I didn’t know how much I’d be able to give ... When I was cleared, I wasn’t 100 percent, but I wanted to help.”

However, she said, “After all that contact, all that banging around, the pain just came back.”

Along with coach Kenny Osborne, she decided to call it a season. By stopping now, she will still be able to call the 2012-13 campaign a “red-shirt” year and not lose a season of eligibility.

She said, “It’s good to take the season back and get to the point where I can get back to 100 percent, so I could give everything I could.”

She said the rest of the season “could go really well. I think it’s pretty much up to all of us. ... We’re capable of winning, and we can.”

Senior guard Tanisha Williams said on Friday, “I think we’re all trying to pick up in different areas. Especially rebounding. I think that’s our main focus, is for everybody to rebound and crash the boards. Beyond that, it’s a lot more of creating shots and stuff.”

Williams has collected 54 rebounds in 10 games this year, though at 5-foot-7 she has to contend with taller opponents.

She said, “Rebounding is, like, you have to want to do it. You’ve just got to work for it. You’ve got to box people out and crash the baords and crash hard. Jumping is like my favorite thing to do, so that’s what I can go out and do.”

With Bertrand’s 18 points per game gone, and post player Jolysa Brown graduated, the scoring and play-making have also become a “team effort.”

Williams said, “Last year you had Jolysa always making stuff happen. This year we’re having to pretty much adjust and work as a team and create stuff for each other.”

The leading scorer now for Concord is Princeton graduate Amanda Smith, who’s averaging 13.5 points per game and is the second-leading rebounder with 50 boards.

Stephanie Wagner had dished 54 assists, and Jacqueline Kestner has 18 steals and 18 assists.

Williams, who has stolen the ball 50 times, said about the Lady Lions’ prospects for the rest of this season, “We started off kind of rocky and iffy, but I think we’re going to be pretty good. We’re figuring it out. We’ve had all kinds of injuries, but everybody’s figuring out what their roles are and what needs to be done.”

“Starting tomorrow.”

• • •

In the men’s game at about 4 p.m., the Mountain Lions (8-3) will look to protect their home court when Fairmont State (8-3) brings its 6-1 conference record to the Carter Center.

— Contact Tom Bone at

tbone@bdtonline.com