The State Fair Community College Lady Roadrunners overcame a lot of adversity in 2020.

Not only did the season get moved to spring, thanks to COVID-19 pandemic, but there was a change in personnel on the coaching side.

Assistant Coach LaTice Jones joined the women's basketball coaching staff last fall. Jones is no stranger to the program, as she was named First-Team All-Region 16 as a sophomore in 2009 to finish a standout career as a student-athlete at SFCC.

"We don't have a lot of experience on the team this year," said Lady Roadrunners Head Coach Kevin Bucher. "We are having to learn everything from scratch and it just takes time. It cannot be rushed. You have to have players who are motivated and fast learners."

SFCC will have to rely on an entirely new squad in 2021 campaign. Sophomore guard Briasia Garza of Houston, Texas will add some experience to the young roster. Garza is a transfer from Paris Junior College in Paris, Texas.

SFCC is currently scheduled to open the season on Jan. 26 at Metropolitan Community College in Kansas City. SFCC is scheduled to open the home portion of their schedule on Jan. 30 with another game against Metropolitan Community College in Sedalia. Region 16 and Missouri Community College Athletic Conference play is scheduled to open on Wednesday, Feb. 10 when the Lady Roadrunners travel to Poplar Bluff to take on Three Rivers Community College.

Coach Bucher hopes to implement the up-tempo style play that the Lady Roadrunners have been known for during his tenure.

"We hope to press, trap, and run," said Bucher. "I think we have some length at the guard position. We also have speed where we should be able to be active on offense and defense. We must become a more consistent shooting team. We need to be able to get in transition and score some easy baskets off our defense."

Coach Bucher expects to see leadership from freshman Tieriney Echols from Memphis, Tennessee.

"Tieriney will probably be our captain," said Bucher "She has earned that responsibility. Tieriney is a great student in the classroom. She practices hard all the time and is a great example of what we want from our student-athletes. Tieriney also brings a lot of competitiveness to our team."

SFCC will need contributions from several newcomers this season.

"Ty'Raven Linwood (Mount Vernon, Texas) shoots the ball very well and has great size for a guard," said Bucher. "Grace Goodwin (Sedalia) has also been shooting the ball well from the outside. We have several players who can penetrate and get to the basket. Ja'Kyah Amous (Chicago, Illinois) is a strong player inside."

The Lady Roadrunners have a couple of goals for the upcoming season.

"Our biggest goal is that we want to compete," said Bucher. "We have to learn our lessons early in the season with a young team. We have to be hungry to compete."

Coach Bucher feels that rebounding will be one key to his team's success this season. He also feels that continuing to improve his teams shooting ability will be key for the season. He thinks passing will also be another key for his team to make the offense function well.

-- David Rohrbach, SFCC Athletics