Women’s basketball team looks to strong season next year

Ryan Scott, Lamp staff

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The 2018-19 Lincoln Land Loggers women’s basketball team saw some huge changes with Doug Jones taking over the coaching position after coaching the men’s team for 17 seasons.

Jones previously set the career-wins record for the men’s team and also played Division 1 basketball at Western Illinois University.

Jones said he learned a lot of his coaching mentality from his playing days when he took note of what he liked and disliked about his coaches, and he tries to implement what he liked in his style and game plans.

The Loggers were able to finish the season with a strong record of 27-4 and were just one game away from making NJCAA Nationals. Three of those four losses and the tournament loss came against Illinois Central College who was ranked No. 1 in the country at the time.

A large reason this season was so successful was the former head coach Gary Albert staying on as the assistant coach. Jones said that made the transition for him taking over as head coach a lot easier. It made the transition easier for the sophomores who had played with Albert as head coach in their freshman years. There were some system changes made this season implementing a faster tempo offense and working on a stronger defense, Jones said.

Sophomore Guard Madison Jones said, “It took a lot of hard work and dedication.”

Once they learned the system, they quickly became a better team, Madison Jones said.

Jones and Freshman Forward Hannah Wallen agreed Coach Jones did great in his first year ever coaching the women’s team.

Coach Jones is not going to take it easy next year just because of success in his first year. He still has things to learn and strategies to test in upcoming seasons.

Coach Jones said it will be tough replacing sophomores next year, but he thinks that the incoming players will fit his system well and improve the team.

The team this year had a lot of production from freshman and All-American Katryel Clark who will be returning for next season, Coach Jones said..

Coach Jones expects more from them but more in team leadership and less on the stat sheet as he expects opponents who have seen this year’s freshman already to game plan to try to slow them down next year.

On next season’s expectations, Wallen said she expects the team to “dominate” and has strong expectations come tournament time.

On next year and beyond, Coach Jones thinks that the team will be able to win a conference championship and hopes for more.

Ryan Scott can be reached at [email protected]