Clermont Women’s Basketball Reflect on Semi-Final Run
April 14th, 2022
The women’s basketball team at UC Clermont left an important mark on the college’s history this year. The team’s season culminated in a tournament run to the 2022 USCAA Nationals semi-finals.
The team was able to beat Southern Maine Community College in the March 8th USCAA quarter semi-finals. They did not stop there and continued victorious until finally falling short in the USCAA semi-finals against Central Maine.
Success proved to be consistent for Clermont’s women’s basketball team this past season. Winning most of their twenty-one games was a result of their women’s competitiveness, hard work, and overall connection with each other. “I loved how we were so small and close-knit. I love the connection I could build,” said Kristi Duncan, a forward on the team, when asked what she loved most as a player for Clermont. “I love how much the coaches care and the time they take. My teammates care. It’s not just about basketball. They care about your mental health, too. My teammates have always been there for me.”
Despite a respectable 14-9 record, the season did not come without challenges for the team. One of those challenges being the Covid-19 pandemic. “There were kids who decided not to play this past season because of Covid. The teams we played had twelve, thirteen, fifteen kids – where we had eight,” recalled Head Coach, Ken Lowe. The challenge in size due to the pandemic took no time for these women to overcome as they stood together and pushed each other to succeed.
Although the season came with its ups and downs, from scarcity in players to the online switch in classes at the start of the semester, the girls were able to show their fight and continue through a successful season. A notable time in the season that defied the odds, showed the team’s compassion, and carried the girls to the championship would include Victoria Brooks’ winning shot in the last second of a game against Campbellsville-Harrodsburg. When asked to relive the moments leading up to her last second shot, Brooks revealed, “At that time, we had a timeout and I was telling my teammates that we had to stick together, despite our score. As the play went on, I decided to take it upon myself as the leader of the team and see if my shot would go in.”
That game was one of the many that paved the path towards the USCAA Nationals. When Coach Lowe was asked what led his team to success, he said, “The game against Campbellsville-Harrodsburg, that was the game that took us to the last shot and we were able to win the game by one. That was a turning point and they started to understand that, with eight players, we can win.”
The Lady Cougars’ performance throughout this year’s season and semi-finals brings anticipation for the next season. “Going to nationals with my teammates who are my best friends and just being able to share that experience with them was my favorite part of the season. I have so much pride in my team,” Duncan exclaimed. “We’re not finished. Hopefully we’ll make it further than we did. This is just a stepping stone.”