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Lady Barons fall in first round of SSAC Tournament
By Taylor Hereford
Director of Marketing
CLEVELAND, TENN – For the first time in over a month, the original starting lineup for the Brewton-Parker College women’s basketball team took the floor against Lee University in the first round of the Southern States Athletic Conference (SSAC) Tournament.
Unfortunately for the eighth seeded Lady Barons (17-12, 9-12 SSAC), shooting and turnovers – two areas that plagued the team at times throughout the season – turned out to be the keys to the game in a 67-56 loss to the top seed Lady Flames.
“We didn’t shoot the ball well in the first half,” said head coach Sheila Simmons. “I was proud, though, of how the team fought back and cut it to four in the second half. We just didn’t hit shots down the stretch. It would have helped if we could have taken advantage of a few more opportunities.”
Senior Monique Martin, BPC’s leading scorer and the SSAC Player of the Year who had been sidelined after suffering a foot injury against Lee Jan. 25, led all scorers with 22 points. Monica Hunter had 10 points while Shelby Pauling finished with nine. Candice Clark was a presence on the boards, grabbing 12 rebounds.
As a team, the Lady Barons shot 32 percent from the field, 33 percent from behind the arc, and 56 percent from the free throw line while committing 27 turnovers.
The first round loss eliminates the Lady Barons hopes of earning a berth in the upcoming National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Tournament.
Looking back on the 2006-07 season, Simmons is pleased with her team’s performance – especially in light of the preseason expectations which were placed on a team that had only three seniors on the roster.
“At BPC we have built a tradition of finishing in the top two in our conference,” she said. “So when we lost our entire starting five from the previous season, we knew we would have a young team. People began to wonder if this would be a rebuilding year for us. We put the expectation on ourselves to finish on top. We were right there up to the time when Monique went down. I was proud of how hard the girls played down the stretch. It was a great season.”