The State Fair Community College (SFCC) women’s basketball program is under new leadership for the first time in 11 seasons.

The new Head Basketball Coach Nicole Collier believes this year has been a learning experience for everyone.

'“The incoming kids are adjusting to the physicality and pace of the game,” said Collier. “The returning players are trying to learn how I want to run things and what I want them to do. There has been a big learning curve but, they are excited and ready to compete. I think they are eager for success. We just have to teach them how to be successful."

Coach Collier would like to see her team get up-and-down the floor in a controlled manner. On the defensive end of the floor, SFCC will primarily be a man-to-man team.
“Defensively, we hope to wreak some havoc by mixing it up and pressuring the ball,” said Collier.

Collier and Assistant Coach LaTice Jones has seen good leadership from Tieriney Echols, Donnisia Harrison, Kayla Dooley, and Olivia Dooley.

“Tieriney has the ear of all of her teammates,” said Collier “They listen when she speaks. I think her teammates respect her. Donnisia Harrison is also stepping up into a leadership role. We also have some freshmen starting to step up for us."

Coach Collier has also been impressed with the play of some of the newcomers.

“We have to continue to find ways to get Quincenia Jackson the ball,” said Collier. “We knew that Autumn Wallace was going to come in and hustle for us. Paige Spencer is a wiry, long player who is all over the floor and always seems to have her hand on the ball. She rebounds well and has been a bright spot for us in scrimmages."

SFCC will face a challenging schedule that will prepare them for the always tough Region 16 slate.

The Lady Roadrunners will open the season on Nov. 3 against Missouri Valley College Junior Varsity, before hosting the McDonald’s Classic on Nov 5 and 6. SFCC will get their first taste of Region 16 action on Nov. 19 and 20 when they travel to Park Hills to take on Mineral Area College and Crowder College.

SFCC will once again be playing in the Moberly Thanksgiving Classic, and then go back to Moberly for more Region 16 action against Jefferson College, Three Rivers Community College, and the host Moberly Area Community College. SFCC will close the semester hosting Labette Community College on Dec. 8.

SFCC will open the second semester with a home game against Wabash Valley College before travelling to John A. Logan College.

“We’re going to play some top 20 teams in our non-region as well as region schedule,” said Collier. “We have some games that we will be able to use a lot of players in and have some fun with but, we also have some games where we really have to buckle down and be ready from tipoff."

Coach Collier expects every game in the region to be a battle. Three Rivers is ranked eighth in the NJCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Preseason Poll and Moberly Area Community College is ranked 20th.

“We have to show up every night and play well,” said Collier. “We are going to have to battle every night."

Coach Collier has some goals she would like to see the Lady Roadrunners accomplish this season.

“We have to continue to get better every game,” said Collier. “I’m hoping in three weeks we look completely different as a team from where we are now. We have to believe in the process and grow. I want them to enjoy what we’re doing but, there’s a fine line between enjoying it, and being tough on them and pushing them to compete.”

--David Rohrbach, SFCC Athletics