The Lady Red Raiders may have had a rocky start to their basketball season – losing the first five games of the year – but once they found their footing, they ran away with the ball and never looked back. Now, with a 6-9 record overall and a 5-5 record in the league, at the time of press, Jamestown is peaking at the right moment and hoping to gain momentum to push them through the post-season. Head coach Tim Anderson sat down with the Jamestown Gazette to discuss that momentum, how his girls work together, and why defense has been the key to his team’s success.
Cortney: How do you feel that your girls have grown and improved this season?
Coach Anderson: We started out the season by losing five straight games, and then we had a nice run where we won five or six games in a row. So we’ve kind of been up and down this year, but hopefully we’re headed in the right direction as playoffs get closer.
Cortney: Strong defense has been crucial in your victories this year, particularly your recent 59-45 win against Orchard Park. What can you tell me about your team’s defensive game this year?
Coach Anderson: We played a lot of games where we’re two or three points down, but then we’ve been successful defensively. We try to really take their offense and get out there and run, get stops, get transitions, and get baskets. We’re a different team when we’re playing well defensively. It really drives our offense on the other end as well.
Cortney: Tell me about the girls on your team – how do they work together, and how do they stand out as individuals?
Coach Anderson: I would say that everyone on the team has given different contributions. We don’t have one superstar; it’s really a bunch of girls who play hard and play together. So there’s a girl who might have a high-scoring night one night, and it might be somebody else another night. There’s not really one person who’s going to stand out on a nightly basis. But it’s been a good, balanced attack when we’re successful.
Cortney: How do you think Jamestown will stack up against this year’s competition in playoffs?
Coach Anderson: We have a couple tough non-league games left on our schedule that can help us grow as a team, and then hopefully we can take care of business with two of our league games left. You’re always looking to have a little momentum going into the post-season and to position yourself well. It’s going to be competitive: our league has been competitive all year. The class we’re in – Class AA – has been tough to this point, so we’re just hoping to keep that momentum as we start into the playoffs. No matter who we play in the post-season, it’s going to be a tough matchup.
To read more of Cortney Linnecke’s creative and informative contributions to the Jamestown Gazette, please go to www.jamestowngazette.com.