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team photo 2022

Lady Tigers gearing up for a run at conference title

Returning 65 percent of its scoring from a season ago, the Cowley College women's basketball team believes they have the pieces to compete for its first conference title since the 2016 season.

Leading the list of returning players are third-year sophomores Baylee Fincher and Shamahra Henderson. Fincher, a two-time all-conference selection, averaged 15.5 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 3.6 assists last season. Henderson added 10 points and five rebounds per game.

"Their experience should be huge for us," Cowley head coach Todd Clark said. "Shamara and Bailey should make even more of an impact. But, it is a team game, so we will need everyone contributing in order to be successful."

Also returning is sophomore forward Carson Dean, who averaged 11.5 points and 5.6 rebounds as a freshman. Jana Radovanovic, Lexi Rose, Onnahili Williams, Lorette Chene, and Callie Scott are other sophomores on the roster.

Cowley, picked eighth out of 13 teams in the Jayhawk Conference, will look to make up for the loss of post player Martyna Kowalska, who averaged 14.7 points and 10.2 rebounds a season ago.

"We have kids that do things Martyna did but are different from her," Clark said. "We really need to focus on our rebounding, and our defense has got to improve."

Coach Clark and his assistant, Troy Thrasher, worked hard in the offseason to add additional talent to the roster. Lucia Noin, a forward from Spain, and Anna Przyszlak from Poland are among the newcomers that have a chance to make immediate impacts on the squad.

"They are both good players that can really help us," Clark said. "I feel good about the players we have brought into the program, but it is all about player development. We hope to be a little deeper and have the opportunity to play more people."

Other freshmen on the roster are, guards Gracie Gilpin, Natalia Correa Bradesco, Stasia Duque, Makaela Roanhorse, Ashlyn Fincher, and Kaelyn Mills. Other freshmen forwards on the roster are Airlalyn Frame, Brooke Perez, Marie-Louise DeJong, and N'dack Mbengue.

"We will throw a bunch at them early in the season to see what they can and can't do," Clark said.

Cowley is coming off a fourth-place finish in the Jayhawk Conference Eastern Division as they went 13-7 in the conference during the 2021-22 season. The Lady Tigers were just one-half game behind third-place Coffeyville, while Butler and Independence finished one and two in the league.

"Every year, top to bottom, the league is getting better," Clark said. "With unlimited out-of-state scholarships, there creates a lot of parity. We hope to turn the corner and get a few more wins."

Cowley will play five of its first six games at home before opening conference play at Coffeyville on November 16.

"We are excited about the possibilities," Clark said. "We want to be competitive, win the league, and be playing well at the end of the season."