The mid-way point of the regular season has come and gone, and the Sinclair women’s basketball team is in prime position for a conference championship.
At 21-2, the Tartan Pride has also won all eight of their conference games and boasts coming in at 11th in the current Division II NJCAA national rankings.
“We have a seasoned team to be honest, we have four returners,” head coach Victoria Jones said. “Then we have some really good freshmen too.”
Despite having a 21-2 record, Jones has not changed her coaching style and still approaches each game as a fresh slate and a chance to improve.
“I’m coaching like I’m 0-16 to be honest,” said Jones. “I just think we have hard work and team chemistry. There are no magic tricks here. I’ve been doing this for – I think this is my 16th year, and I coach all my teams the same.”
Some of the players helping to get the team to this point are sophomore forward Aaryn Evans and freshman forward Amanda Schroeder.
Schroeder is 2nd in the nation in scoring with 27.0 PPG and 1st in the nation in free throw percentage at 90.2%, and Evans is 6th in the nation in total rebounds. Sophomore guard Nia Martin is currently 13th in assists as well.
Schroeder has also earned OCCAC player of the week honors five times, is on the OCCAC All-Academic Team, and was the Buckeye Charters November Athlete of Distinction. However, Jones maintains a team mentality in her coaching.
“She’s doing great,” Jones said. “We try to preach team when people get those awards because you know somebody had to dribble [the ball] passed half court to get it to her, somebody had to set a screen, somebody had to rebound.”
Even though the team is doing so well, they still have obstacles ahead. Owens Community College is 7-1 in the conference, keeping them right behind Sinclair in the race for the conference title.
“You’re asking my team to be perfect to win it all or to even be co-champs,” Coach Jones said. “If we go to Owens and lose, we’re still in position to be co-champs. [If] We beat them, we’re in great position to go ahead and win it out. But it’s going to be difficult when we get up there.”
Owens is now ranked 6th in the nation. The Sinclair women’s team will play them on the road on Feb. 7 as one of their last five regular season games. Owens has also won the last five conference titles, and six of the last seven.