Season Recap: Belles keep fighting spirit in tough season
Andrew Robinson | Friday, May 16, 2014
“That is what I will remember this team for the most,” she said. “They never quit.”
The Belles (7-18, 5-11 MIAA) opened their season in mid-November with tournaments at St. Norbert in Green Bay, Wis., and Wheaton in Wheaton, Ill. Although they went 1-3 at the tournaments, the Belles blew past Northland, 83-33, for their first win of the season.
Despite three three-game losing streaks during the season, Henley said she remained confident in her team, even after a 90-89 loss on Dec. 7 to North Central on a buzzer-beater.
“The game against North Central was a good one for us,” she said. “Even though we lost, we maintained such an intense pace of play against a team who runs the [fast-paced] Grinnell system.”
The Belles carried that intensity into their next game against Trine. Saint Mary’s secured a 60-42 victory, its first conference win of the year.
Henley also highlighted conference wins over Alma and Albion in January as high points in the season.
Against Alma (0-25, 0-16), the Belles trailed by 10 with 8:51 to play, but a 13-0 run gave them a 70-67 win over the Scots. Senior guard Shanlynn Bias, who led the team this season with 14.7 points per game and 2.68 assists per game, had a game-high 20 points.
After a stretch of three tough losses, a back-and-forth game against Albion (9-16, 5-11) ended knotted at 55-55. Henley said the Belles once again demonstrated their resiliency, missing just one shot in overtime to secure a 67-64 win.
Although the Belles struggled towards the end of the year, dropping five of their last six, they defeated Alma 72-61 on senior day and finished with a 7-18 record overall, an improvement over their 5-20 record in 2012-13.
Henley said she is looking forward to seeing how her young team will continue to progress next season without two important leaders, graduating seniors Bias and forward Katherine Wabler.