Why College of the Siskiyous women's basketball team is having strong start to season

Bill Choy
Siskiyou Daily News
The College of the Siskiyous women's basketball team pose for a photo in the Monterey area this past weekend.

The College of the Siskiyous women’s basketball team is riding high to start the season. 

After falling in the season opener Nov. 12 to Solano, the Lady Eagles pulled off 11 straight wins to improve to 11-1 overall. 

This past weekend, COS won three games to win the Monterey Peninsula Tournament.

This is the first full year Noelle Collier has been head coach after being an assistant under longtime head coach Tom Powers. 

Collier said the key for her is each member of the team knows their role and does whatever they need to to help the team win. She said it is a true team with not one standout players, but instead a group of good players who work well together and have a great repertoire with one another on the court. 

“We are not relying upon one person,” she said. “Everyone contributes. We have a talented team across the board and work well together.” 

As of Monday morning, COS is ranked 12th in the state's North Region.

Collier likes that she has players capable of scoring 20 points in one game. And in the next game, while they may only score a few points, they may lead the team in rebounds and play tough defense throughout. 

Currently, there are 10 active players on the roster, with two players lost for the season due to injuries. 

She said it helps that six of the players were part of the team last season. While last winter sports season was canceled due to COVID-19, they were able to get in four games against Feather River in the spring and went 3-1. 

Collier said last season gave the squad a chance to practice together, get to know one another better and be well prepared for this season. 

Collier said strength is the tenacious way the Lady Eagles play defense. This means even on days where they might not be shooting well, the defense keeps them in the contest. 

For instance, last Friday at a tournament against the home team, Monterey Peninsula, COS trailed pretty much the entire game but were able to hang around and keep things fairly close. 

With less than a minute left, Collier said that Morgan Thomas and Kayana Woodard each scored and COS won the game, 68-65. Thomas led the Lady Eagles with 20 points, while Etna High graduate Halliday Hubbard put up 14 points.  

On the opening day of the tournament Thursday, COS downed Hartnell 60-33. Etna High graduate Megan Bennett led the Lady Eagles with 10 points, while 

Jazmyn Wells finished with nine points.

On Saturday against Mission, COS was down at the half, but went on a 10-2 run to start the second half and won the contest 70-66. Thomas and Woodard each scored 16 points, while Hubbard had 14 points. 

Collier said that Bennett and Hubbard have been key contributors this season and do a little bit of everything well. This includes doing whatever it takes to help the team from diving for loose balls to playing tenacious defense, scoring and rebounding. 

Collier said the Golden Valley Conference will be tough this year with each team capable of competing for the GVC title. To her, the key for her team is to continue to keep working together as a cohesive unit. If they can keep it up, good things consistently will happen. 

“We have to keep playing well with the tough competition we'll see each game in our conference,” Collier said, 

COS next plays next Monday against Merced at a tournament in San Jose. They began GVC play Jan. 5 at Butte College in Oroville. As of Monday, all but one GVC team has a winning record. Shasta College is 11-3, while Redwoods is 9-5, Butte 10-6 and Feather River 7-6. 

Bill Choy covers sports and general news for the Siskiyou Daily News/Mount Shasta Herald/USA Today Network. Follow him on Twitter at@SDNBillChoy. Email Bill at bchoy@siskiyoudaily.com. Support local journalism by subscribing today.