Within the confines of the deafening gymnasium at Johnson State College, Castleton women’s basketball senior guard LeeAnne Ketchen stood at the foul line with under ten seconds to go in a game that she held in her hands. “I thought, ‘I’d better knock these in,'” said Ketchen confidently. “Johnson State made a huge comeback and they had the momentum in their own gym-which made me angry.”
Ketchen made both free throws despite a timeout used to ice the athlete. Castleton won the game 48-47 for its sixth win in its last eight games.
Jessica Banks and Mary Nienow assisted each other’s 1000th career points in story-book fashion the two previous games. On January 27th vs. Green Mountain, Banks found Nienow, and two games later vs. University of Maine-Farmington, Nienow found Banks.
“They were great accomplishments, and also great team accomplishments,” head coach Tim Barrett said.
The women’s basketball team has been on a roll as of late.
“We’re getting a little more consistent on both sides of the ball,” Barrett said.
“Lately we have just been working as a team and focusing on our defense,” said Ketchen. “On the offensive end we have been making the extra pass and sharing the ball real well.”
Over winter break, the team traveled to California and lost two games to some stiff competition in Cal State-East Bay and Swarthmore (PA).
“Overall it was a great experience for our players,” said Barrett. “It was short, but we got to see a lot of teams.”
One thing the team didn’t expect to see was a different basketball style.
“One team played a different game than we were accustomed to,” said Ketchen. “They didn’t really have set plays and just ‘played basketball’-a lot of one-on-one type style girls, and they were killer on the rebounds.”
“Basketball wise, I was a little disappointed in how we played,” said Barrett. “They were two respectable teams.”
The Spartan women look to continue their winning ways with upcoming North Atlantic Conference games against Green Mountain, UMaine-Farmington, and Husson. The Spartans will return home on Feb. 20 to play Maine Maritime.