Adversity struck the Clark women’s basketball team in the preseason. Nonetheless, the team continues to rely on unity to push forward as the season continues.
Head coach Eric Harper said the team “put together some values of [its] own and one of them was unity,” which continues to be its mantra.
According to forward Elliott Snodgrass, the team has grown closer and found its niche. “Every time we circle up for a break into the next half, we say, ‘together, on three, one-two-three-together.’”
Even with a highly-integrated team, it hasn’t resulted in many wins this season. As of Jan. 26, the team was 5-11 overall and were sixth out of the nine teams in the region.
However, the team had a spark of brilliance on Jan. 14 when it beat Southwestern Oregon Community College 80-77. The team only scored 15 points in the first half but made a spectacular comeback in the second half, scoring 49 points and winning the game in overtime.
The team had to refer back to its mantra to pull out that win. “If we are down, we focus on those things like unity and staying together,” Snodgrass said.
The team continues to be competitive as it practices and perfect its craft. Snodgrass said they try to bring the best out of their teammates by pushing them to the next level and being competitive. “The first practice, one of our girls got a black eye from our teammate accidentally,” Snodgrass said.
The women went through a feeling-out process as a team before they clicked, which included their relationship with coach Harper, Snodgrass and guard Kylee Williams said.
Harper is in his first year as the head coach of the team. Harper said he felt “excited and nervous,” when he first got the job. “I was looking forward to the new challenge again, of being a head coach.”
Harper is usually calm and quiet, but when the buzzer sounds he becomes more “animated,” Williams said.
There is still no certainty to how the season will play out.
To make it to the playoffs the team needs to maintain unity and it’s clear, through recent wins, that the team is taking the right step forward.