Lady Warcats expect turnaround for next season

Lady Warcats expect turnaround for next season
July 23
00:00 2015

In above photo: Combo guard Cierra York was a two-time All-CIAA pick during her playing days at Livingstone College. (Photo by Craig T. Greenlee)

The Winston-Salem Lady Warcats didn’t have one of their better showings this season.

As members of the semi-pro Women’s Blue Chip Basketball League, this was the first time in their five-year team history that they finished a season below .500.

In the final regular-season standings, the Lady Warcats were fifth in the Carolinas Division with a 3-5 record.

Even so, there’s no reason to believe that Winston-Salem is going on a downward spiral.

What wrecked this team’s chances of posting another winning record and a trip to the league playoffs was a disastrous four-game losing streak against the top-tier teams in its division.

During that stretch, the Lady Warcats found themselves on the wrong end of one-sided losses to the eventual division champs (Charlotte Invasion) and the Carolina Lady Rush.

In the other two setbacks, the average margin of defeat was four points to the Lady Vikings and Lady Stallions.

“What I like best about this team is the camaraderie,” said Coach Chris Geter. “This group has a strong sense of togetherness that we can build on. Since we had a lot of young players right out of college, it was a matter of how quickly they would mature as a unit. As they get in more practice time and game time playing with each other, it will only get better.”

Vontisha Woods, who has been with the Lady Warcats for three seasons, led the team in scoring (14.7 points) and rebounds (5.4). Chevena Pickard averaged 14.1 points per game and proved herself as one of the league’s most lethal long-distance shooters (70.8 percent from 3-point range).

Woods and Pickard got ample offensive support from Alisha Mosely and Cierra York, who both averaged 9.9 points per game.

“We didn’t play up to our capability this year,” said Woods. “Sometimes we let our personal goals get in the way. There’s no doubt that the season should’ve turned out better than it did. So, for next season, that gives everybody a lot of motivation to turn it up another level.”

The blue chip league, now in its 10th season, provides an opportunity for former college players to continue playing after they’ve graduated.

While the players do not get a paycheck for playing, they do play in a league that attracts interest from scouts representing the WNBA and a number of women’s pro leagues overseas.

The WBCBL is widely viewed as the premier pro developmental league for women’s basketball.

A year ago, the league had 22 players – including Catrina Green of the Lady Warcats – to sign contracts with pro teams overseas (Europe, Mexico, Australia and the Middle East).

Woods, who finished her college career at Winston-Salem State, is hoping to make a return trip overseas.

She played in the women’s league in Malta (southern Europe) three years ago.

“That’s one of the reasons why we play in this league,” she said. “It gives you that opportunity to play professionally if that’s what you want to do. I’m hoping to get another chance to play overseas.”

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Craig Greenlee

Craig Greenlee

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