DESPITE CHALLENGES, LADY TITANS END SEASON ON A HIGH NOTE

GTCC’s 2015-2016 women’s basketball team (Photo by Carla Kucinski)

By Jana Carver

Bobby Allison built his team from the ground up this year.

As head coach for Guilford Technical Community College’s women’s basketball team, Allison went into the 2015-2016 season with six new players out of a team of nine. This new reality came on the heels of a successful previous season in which the Lady Titans won the NJCAA Division II Region X Tournament and competed in the NJCAA Division II National Championship, a first in the history of the college.

“So we basically were starting over,” Allison said.

Bobby Allison (Photo by Carla Kucinski)

Bobby Allison (Photo by Carla Kucinski)

Despite some challenges this season, the GTCC Titans went 19-10, winning almost 66 percent of their games. In addition, they finished the season ranked No. 23 out of 170, in the national poll for points won per game.

“They worked really hard, and they almost overachieved at times,” Allison said.

Although GTCC’s women’s basketball team is used to winning closer to 25 games per season, this season’s team was not without its success. Andrea’anna Pool, a second year player from Riverside High School in Durham, and Kiana Davis, a second year player from Hickory Ridge High School in Charlotte, made the All-Region team and first team All-Conference.

Both Pool and Davis also helped GTCC achieve a first this season by ranking No. 1 one in a statistical category. Pool led the nation in assists per game, averaging 8.2 assists, while Davis led in field goal percentage, successfully shooting 62.3 percent in goals from the field.

“From my knowledge, this is the first time that anybody from GTCC has led any statistical category for the whole country in a season, and we wound up having two people lead a statistical category, which is pretty remarkable,” Allison said.

According to Allison, one of the team’s objectives is to give players who may have been under-recruited after high school the chance to prove themselves, and that’s certainly what happened this year, he said.

“Almost every kid on our roster played a lot of minutes this year, so, for our purposes, it was kind of different … that doesn’t always happen,” Allison said.

The amount of court-time each player received gave scouts the opportunity to see what they had to offer, and apparently, they liked what they saw.

“We have five kids now that just completed their second year playing for us and have scholarship offers on the table,” Allison said.

This May, three players will graduate while three others will transfer to a four-year institution. Because of this, Allison will be building his team from the ground up once again next year. But he’s confident about next season’s prospects.

“We’re pretty excited about next year,” Allison said. “… I feel like we could have a very talented team.”

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– May 2, 2016