‘It’s been a growing experience,’ says Lady Warcats’ coach

‘It’s been a growing experience,’ says Lady Warcats’ coach
July 02
00:00 2015

Team in regular season slump

Over the past four seasons, the Winston-Salem Lady Warcats have proven themselves as viable contenders in the Carolinas Region of the Women’s Blue Chip Basketball League. This season it’s been a different story.

Winston-Salem (3-5) looks to end its regular season on a winning note when it faces USA Elite on July 11 at the Fulton Family YMCA (2 p.m. tip-off). Regardless of the outcome of that contest, the Lady Warcats are assured of finishing below the .500 mark for the first time in the team’s five-year history.

In a league in which the regular season runs a little over three months, losing streaks can prove to be disastrous. Such was the case for the home team. The Warcats experienced a four-game losing streak in May, which put their season in jeopardy. In two of those losses, the average margin of defeat was four points.

“Our record doesn’t show it, but we’ve continued to improve with every game,” said Chris Geter, the Lady Warcats first-year coach. “We’ve only had one blow-out loss all season, so we’ve been in every game. It’s been a growing experience.”

The Lady Warcats like to establish a defensive presence, which in turn, fuels their offense. Under Geter, Winston-Salem attacks with a combination of full-court and half-court presses and traps. With a roster that goes 10 players deep, the Lady Warcats are able to keep fresh bodies on the court and apply constant pressure for an entire game.
“Defense is our offense,” he said. “If our defense is going well, it makes things run a lot smoother offensively.”

Although the Lady Warcats play well in an up-tempo game, Geter believes it’s inaccurate to label his team as run-and-gun. The Lady Warcats, he explained, are at their best when they spread the floor and share the basketball. “The main key is to keep the ball moving and cut to the basket,” he said. “When you do that consistently, you play more efficiently and you get better shots.”

Chevena Pickard leads the way for Winston-Salem with a team-high 14.8 points per game. Pickard, a 5-feet-6 guard who played at Greensboro College, commands attention from opposition as an on-the-money contributor. This season, she’s shooting 54.9 percent from the field and an eye-popping 81 percent from 3-point distance (17-of-21).

In recent weeks, Adrienne Terrell, another former Greensboro College player, has played well at point guard. Terrell averages 8.7 points a game and has hit 40.7 percent of her 3-point shot attempts.

Vontisha Woods, formerly of Winston-Salem State, has emerged as the team’s stabilizing influence. Woods, a 5-feet-11 forward, averages 12.4 points and 5.7 rebounds.

 “Whatever the team needs – points, rebounds, defense – she provides,” said Geter. “Having a player like Vontisha on your team is like having a coach on the floor. She’s the glue that keeps everything together.”

Paris Alston, a 6-feet-2 power forward/center who played at South Carolina State, has developed as a reliable contributor in the paint (7.4 points, 4.5 rebounds).

In her first season with the Lady Warcats, recent Livingstone graduate Cierra York has delivered as the first player off the bench. York is a versatile 5-feet-8 combo guard who played at Winston-Salem Prep. As a key reserve, she averages 7.6 points and 3.6 rebounds per game.

Lady Warcats notes

The Women’s Blue Chip Basketball League, now in its 11th season, is a non-salaried, semi-pro league for women. Comprised mostly of former college players, the league provides high-level competition and exposure to pro scouts from around the world. The WBCBL has 40 teams in eight divisions.

Winston-Salem is a member of the Carolinas Region, which includes teams from North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and Georgia.

The Carolinas Region’s top four teams will play a single-elimination regional tournament on July 18 to determine which team advances to the league’s national playoffs scheduled for July 31-Aug. 2 in Greenville, SC.


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Craig Greenlee

Craig Greenlee

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