Tomorrow the Santa Fe College Saints (18-2) women’s basketball team will take on the Broward Seahawks (20-5) in the first round of the Florida College System Activities Association (FCSAA) State Tournament. The Saints are familiar with the Seahawks because the two teams met last year in the same round.
Last year’s match up between these two teams did not end a close contest. However, Saints coach Chanda Stebbins said her team did not play to their full potential. This year things have been going in a completely different direction. At one point in the season the Saints were on a 13 game win streak that propelled the team to their first Mid Florida Conference championship since the 2010-2011 season.
A major difference for the Saints is their maturity level. Coach Stebbins said being a young team last year was part of the reason the team lost with only three sophomores on the team. This time around the team has a good idea of what to expect and Stebbins said that the Seahawks are not as big physically as they were last year, but there are a few players that can cause problems if the ball goes inside.
Keys to Success
In order to come out victorious Stebbins said that the team will really have to minimize Seahawk’s point guard Nicole Jimenez. The sophomore is averaging about 18 points a game and five assists. Jimenez is the kind of player that gets things going for her team and can really be an issue if defense is not at 100 percent. The team will also look to keep their turnovers low. Stebbins said that if her team can cause more turnovers than they commit, they should be in good shape.
On the offensive end, Stebbins said that rebounding will be crucial in order to have second chance looks at the basket. The team will be counting Tabitha Odabe, Rayven Wade, and others to come up with rebounds. Not to mention, the Saints will without a doubt be relying on their leading scorer Ari Emanuel-Wright to have an outstanding game.
Tomorrow’s game tips off at 1 p.m. If the Saints come out on top tomorrow, they will face the winner of Chipola College and Florida Southwestern on Friday.