SAGU Classic slated for Friday, Saturday
Women's college hoops takes over campus
Lady Lions play at 7:30pm on both nights
WAXAHACHIE, Texas -- The women’s basketball team at Southwestern Assemblies of God University annually hosts the SAGU Classic, and 2012 is no exception.
Four games featuring four teams will take place this weekend at the Sheaffer Center on the SAGU campus.
The SAGU Lady Lions (0-2) will play host to Dallas Christian College (0-1) on Friday night at 7:30pm (CST) in their home opener. A week ago the Purple Pride tipped-off the season with a pair of setbacks in Oklahoma City at the Southwestern Christian University Classic.
In the first game of the SAGU Classic, the #19 ranked LSU-Shreveport Lady Pilots (0-0) tangle with Wayland Baptist University at 5:30pm on Friday.
This could be the most evenly matched game of the four, pitting teams from the Red River Athletic Conference (LSUS) and the Sooner Athletic Conference (WBU).
The River Runners went 25-9 last season and qualified for a berth in the NAIA national tournament. They lost in the opening round to Lubbock Christian University, who are ranked #1 in the NAIA this season.
Wayland’s Flying Queens, after a 3-7 start, finished 11-17 against a very tough schedule.
Saturday pits LSU-Shreveport against Dallas Christian at 5:30pm, while Southwestern is slated to do battle with Wayland Baptist at 7:30pm.
Who to Watch in Purple
The Lady Lions are coming off of a 10-21 season in which they faced constant fullcourt pressure due to a young and completely new backcourt. This season the team considers its guards as its strength and must now play with an entirely new baseline of forwards and centers.
Nia Winston (Garland, Tx / Panola JC, Lakeview Centennial HS), Andrea Lugo (San Antonio, Tx / Somerset HS) and Keevie Bratchett (Center, Tx / Tenaha HS) are returning guards who have already risen to the challenge.
Winston, last year's leading scorer, has gotten off to a good start, averaging 15.0 points per game through two games.
Back from an injury-plagued sophomore campaign is six-foot center Sierra Hankins (Welch, Ok / Welch HS). While still not 100%, she ripped down an average of 11.0 rebounds last weekend, while tossing in 8.0 ppg.
There are several newcomers to watch, including a pair of guards.
Shaina Tanks (Spring Branch, Tx / Smithson Valley HS) is a threat from the perimenter. She figures to help fill a need, stretching opposing defenses with a long-range gun.
Two cat-quick players with similar dispositions; true freshman point guard Taylor Hill (Waxahachie, Tx / Waxahachie HS) and redshirt freshman Bethany Krock (San Antonio, Tx / Cornerstone Christian). The pair have mercury wings adorning their heals and are fearless defenders.
Another player who has clearly shaken off her freshman shackles is Cordia Harvatin (San Antonio, Tx / Stacey HS). The 5'9 sophomore forward looks to assume the role left when Jirah Rodriguez (Georgetown, Tx / Georgetown HS) decided to redshirt this season to fully rehab from surgery. She has already been voted one of the team's tri-captains.
Harvatin's mid-range jumper and board work could prove to be key addition to the attack.
When Kassy Cox (Lufkin, Tx / Lufkin HS) concludes her volleyball season, she will add a 6'1 frame to the frontline. She is a rebounding force who will waste little time in moving into the line-up.
The club is annually ranked in the NAIA's Top 20 in defense, and that should continue this season. New Assistant Coach Kory Henry has joined the venerable veteran, Head Coach Arlon Beadles, and together the defense will add new elements.
Beadles needs just three more wins to hit a new milestone in career victories. It should happen later in November or early December.
)) ))000000))))))L_P"SAGU had just nine available players last weekend with injuries limiting their depth. Plus, three others were still playing a fall sport; two in volleyball and one in soccer.
The Lady Lions will be off for another reason the next two weeks; no games are scheduled. They return to action on Monday, November 26, and have four games that week.