The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO


February 14, 2013

OCC women coping with injuries

Injuries have played havoc this season with the Ozark Christian College women’s basketball team.

OCC coach Tabitha Hall, who started the campaign with an extremely young team, has seen several players go down with injuries ... even some who came out during the season in an attempt to bolster the Ambassadors.

“It’s broken any kind of continuity,” Hall, who’s in her second season at OCC, said of the injuries on Wednesday. “It’s been a rough season for everyone.”

Hall is hoping to have eight players available for this week’s Midwest Christian College Conference Tournament at OCC.

The OCC women, who have one victory, challenge third-seeded Barclay of Haviland (Kan.) at 6 tonight in the six-team event.

Fourth-seeded Calvary Bible (Kansas City, Mo.) and Faith Baptist (Ankeny, Iowa) open the women’s portion of the tourney at 11 a.m. Favored Manhattan Christian and Central Christian of Moberly have byes.

Today’s schedule in the men’s division is fourth-seeded Central vs. Faith at  12:45 p.m., No. 2 Barclay vs. Calvary at 2:30, No. 1 Manhattan vs. St. Louis Christian at 4:15 and third-seeded OCC vs. Nebraska Christian of Omaha at 7:45.

Sarah Rhodes, a 6-foot senior from Miami, has sparkled in her only season for OCC,  Hall said, with averages of 18 points, 12.5 rebounds and 3.8 blocked shots.

The rest of tonight’s roster is composed of freshmen. They are 5-7 Anna Chandler, 5-3 Leah Euken, 5-2 Heather Kidwell, 5-8 Brooke Prahl, 5-4 Janie Weece, 5-4 Addy Wood and, hopefully, 5-3 Katrina Hughes.

“We’re shooting for the medical clearance of Hughes (from a head injury) by Thursday,” Hall said.

“There has been improvement this season,” Hall said. “Individuals certainly have improved. But the story this season has been more about life than basketball. Personal growth is taking place.

“This is a great group of girls,” Hall said. “We’ve had a blast together.

“Still, there’s basketball left,” Hall said. “We aren’t playing as well as I’d like as a team. We haven’t been on the same page enough. We’ve had moments.

“But it’s time for us to play 40 minutes ... a complete game,” Hall said.

The OCC women will be entered in next week’s NCCAA Division II regional on its floor. Also, OCC again will host the Association of Christian College Athletics nationals.

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