Young Lady ‘Riders emphasize process as season begins

By Derek Shore



A youth-filled roster aided the Crowder Lady Roughriders basketball team to the Region 16 semifinal game, culminating to a 17-15 overall record in 2015-16.

“We had a young team with only two sophomores returning,” said Tina Robbins, Crowder head women’s coach. “We got off to a really good start and then hit a road bump about midway through the season. Overall, I thought we had a pretty good year.”

For the 2016-17 campaign, the Lady Riders’ success has once again hinged on its underclassman as they have opened to a sluggish 2-6 start through the first month so far.

Crowder returns four sophomores this season, including leading scorer Kadesha Cooper (forward, who averaged 17.5 points over 27.1 minutes per game), guards Roana Paterson and Alissa Rowden, forward Brooke Sagely, and the addition of guard Nicole Ickes.

“We have a young teateam_resized-jpgm this year (with seven newcomers),” Robbins said. “I think we have a good mix of kids. It may take us a little while (to win) because of our lack of experience, but I like our group. We have a good work ethic and a good attitude.”

Robbins described Cooper as a player, “who has the ability to put points up in a hurry.” The Lady Riders will rely on her to score and look for her to improve on the defensive end along with being a more vocal leader. Paterson is a guard that brings solid outside shooting and as Robbins said “great leadership to the team.”

Coming off leg surgery in the offseason, Rowden is still trying to get healthy, but Robbins said: “she does things that doesn’t show up on the stat sheet and will do whatever it takes to win.” Sagely will provide Crowder with versatility and according to her coach can knock down the shot and rebound.

Ickes, a former softball player for Crowder and multi-sport athlete at McDonald County High, batted .324 in 58 games with 43 runs scored, 18 stolen bases, nine RBI, and three doubles on the diamond for the Lady Riders’ last season.

“We’re still trying to establish roles,” Robbins said. “We brought in a good mix of kids. We have some big kids – some guards. They’re still trying to establish their role in the system.”

Robbins added to the style of play, “As a group and team, our hope is we will be able to press a lot. I think we should be a good defensive team. With that, creates some offense with our defense. We’re hoping to be a fast-paced team that gets up and down the court.

“We make for an exciting style for the fan to see.”

Crowder had an “up-and-down” preseason, but Robbins attributes it being a young team. As for goals, sophomore Roana Paterson chimes in.

“As we open up the season, there is a lot of excitement and nerves throughout the team,” Paterson said.  “With a talented freshmen group and a solid leadership group of

sophomores, the season looks promising. I think our main early goals this season will definitely be putting all the pieces together on defense.

“Ideally, we want our defense to be what gets us points, so once we have that sorted this will really help the team out,” she continued.

“Other than that, another goal will just be to go out on the floor and represent our family, team, and Crowder College to the best of our ability and have fun while doing it,” Paterson concluded.


For more information, visit the following link to see this season’s schedule: