WOMEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL: Lady Jags looking to improve | Sports

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DANVILLE — After their sub-.500 record and many disappointing losses, the Danville Area Community College women’s basketball team looks to improve this season.

After their semifinal loss last season, coach Erika Harris has high expectations for the Lady Jaguars this season.

The Jaguars brought in a very new class this year, with much of their team leaving the program last year due to graduation or transfer. They’re only bringing back five returning players, and only one of those five consistently starts for the Jaguars in Alexus Mobley.

These returning players averaged over 20 points per game for the Lady Jaguars and plan to increase that number this season. Mobley, who appears to be the Jaguars’ starting point guard this year, will be electric. The sophomore averaged 13 points last year for Danville and looks to continue that success this season.

In Wednesday’s 79-69 win over Kankakee, Mobley was fouled hard and appeared to be grabbing his knee. Her physical trainer helped her up from the ground. Mobley later returned to the game and seemed fine as she played without a brace or restraint device.

Mobley’s return should also bring up the loss of Jaguar’s sophomores last season. Dy’Jahnik Armfield was one of the graduates last season. Armfield averaged nearly 20 points for the Jaguars and was the primary ball handler all season. His performances ranked her among the top 25 in the nation in points per game. The loss of Armfield will hurt, but Mobley will look to step into that role as the two play very similarly. The mentality of both players is to get to the rim to make layups and draw fouls. Mobley and Armstrong each had more than 75 free throw attempts last season.

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The Lady Jaguars do not have the national rankings seen with the men’s team. Coach Harris, however, believes the team will exceed even her expectations of them.

“We were with Moberly for three quarters.” Harris claims about the 83-54 loss in the season opener. Harris also claims that the level of athletes seen at Moberly match those of the NCAA Division 1 level.

The Jaguars also brought in a very diverse group of athletes this year, bringing in girls from three countries outside of the United States.

“I am very privileged to be able to recruit players from other countries,” says Harris.

The team Harris aspired to assemble was extremely diverse, as he believes it to be the most realistic for the world seen today. Harris claims there have even been cases where a player was late to practice due to religious beliefs, and says he’s fine with that and he loves it for the culture.

There are also team members from local high schools.

Tannah Ceader, who returned for her second season at DACC, and North Vermillion’s Riley Dowers, who returned after a break from basketball last season. Ceadar seems to be a big part of the team this season, and Coach Harris says that she couldn’t believe that she was a sophomore this season and that she wasn’t a part of the team next year. On the other hand, Dowers had a year off last season, and a heavy recruitment by the DACC staff has brought her back to basketball.

Coach Harris believes DACC has a great opportunity to improve on their record from last year. She has faith in those who return, as well as in the women she has brought in to play the roles of the girls she lost last year. The Lady Jaguars are 1-2 and will return to action today at Lincoln Trail in Robinson.

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