March 25, 2017

Bringing home the hardware

Five players from the women’s basketball team were honored with postseason awards following the Gorloks third place finish in the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SLIAC).

Junior guard Kelsey Miller was named to the All-Conference Second Team. Miller led the team in scoring, averaging 11.3 points per game.

Miller said she was excited to receive the honors, but is looking forward to coming back stronger next year since the team fell short this season.

“It’s a great accomplishment, but I know I have more potential,” Miller said. “I know that I can play better and contribute more.”

Junior forward Taylor Lucas and freshman guard Jade Sawyer were named to the All-Conference Third Team. Lucas was second on the team in scoring, while Sawyer was third.

Head coach Jordan Olufson said he thought Sawyer played well enough to be considered conference freshman of the year.

“She had a great year,” Olufson said. “Jade’s tough. She had some big shots in some big games for us. We are proud of her and excited to see what she can do.”

Lucas said she was honored by the award, but she is going to work harder for next season. She said her goal is to win the conference next season.

“I want as a senior to go out on top with my team,” Lucas said. “Our ultimate goal is to get to the NCAA tournament.”

Sophomore forward Megan Brandt was named to the SLIAC All-Defensive Team. Brandt was third on the team with 56 steals and third with five blocked shots.

Olufson said he thinks the team has some of the best defensive players in the league and Brandt is one of them.

“It was good to see Megan win that award,” Olufson said. “We kind of hoped she was going to get that last year because she deserved it. She is the key to our success on the press and the trap.”

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Junior guard Ebony Bailey was named to the SLIAC All-Sportsmanship Team. She was a junior college transfer this season.

Olufson said Miller is a hard worker who had a good year for the team this season.

“She is probably one of the fastest kids we have,” Olufson said. “Never complains, just shows up and goes to practices and competes at a high level. Great award for her to get.”

Along with these postseason awards, the Gorloks had three different players win SLIAC Player of the Week this season. Miller, Sophomore forward Natalie Busscher, and junior forward Aley Lucas all won this award.

Aley won the award for the week of Feb. 20, which was the final week of the season. She said she knew the team had to win tough games that week to get into SLIAC tournament.

“I try to control all the things I can control in the game of basketball and rebounding is one of them,” Aley said. “I couldn’t get that accomplishment without the help of my team.”

The Gorloks lost in the semifinal round of the SLIAC tournament to Greenville 61-52. The top eight scorers this season and all the award winners come back next season.

Miller said the team is motivated to work hard in the offseason to ensure that does not happen again.

“Once we can figure out how to fire on all cylinders for 40 minutes, we will be a very hard team to beat,” Miller said.

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