Shelton State Lady Bucs dominating the competition

Shelton State

By WVUA 23 Digital Reporter Jeremy Bryant

Shelton State Community College women’s basketball team are about to head into the latter part of their schedule with 10 games left in the regular season. The Lady Bucs have a record of 17-1, leading them to a number three ranked spot on the NJCAA rankings. Their only loss was to Georgia Highlands College who are ranked two spots below them at No. 5.

This team is detailed in how they approach the game, led by an astonishing group of coaches and trainers who make sure they prepare their players for every scenario thrown their way. There’s also a specific standard this team holds themselves to, and it all starts as a mindset for these players. They understand there is a level of accomplishment expected while playing for a coach who has seen and done it all.

“My goal is to win a national championship, and I tell them that in practice. We’ve won a lot of conference championships and we’re always flirting with the final four, but to win it all is the goal,” said Lady Bucs head coach Madonna Thompson.

Sixteen Shelton State conference championships to be exact, and they’re also the reigning conference champs for the last six years, with 2021’s squad finishing with a record of 21-5.

These women have soundly run through their schedule by being superior as a team with a skilled roster to execute their game plan each time they touch the floor. The Bucs have been ferocious on the defensive side of the ball making everything hard for their opponents. They are only allowing just over half the points they score in 46.5 points per game according to Shelton.edu.

The Bucs have strung together 16 straight wins with victories against top JUCO schools like 16th-ranked Chipola College and 10th-ranked Jones College. There’s certainly a belief in the locker room that there is minimal concern in having to play tougher competition once the tournament starts when a team has the amount depth that the Lady Bucs do in their frontcourt.

“We’ve got two sophomores that are signed to division one schools, but as a group our post players are unmatched really in the country,” said assistant coach Collin Hardy.

Unmatched is truly a fair description of  the amount of talent at their disposal. Three of their post players ranked inside the Top 25 nationally for field goal percentage for the week of Jan. 17. with the graceful scoring Ke’Ajia Williams swooping in at 16, the instinctive and energized Asia Barclay cracking the top five at 64.8%, and the tenacious rebounder Maya Cunningham at 19 according to the NJCAA.

The only glaring weakness that other opponents may exploit  is that the Lady Bucs do not shoot the three-ball too well as a team at 31% on the year. Even with a weakness of that sort, they have a couple of the best guards in the conference to combat that in Nya Valentine and Taylor Smith. They can easily get hot from long range, and can also put the ball on the floor to drive the lane to set up their teammates for open shots.

This team will now look to continue their success and keep their win streak alive in a matchup against Jones College on Jan. 24, who they previously beat earlier in the month. They will use this game as a way to sharpen up their execution as the tournament is nearing.

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