The Miles Community College Lady Pioneer basketball team got off to a blazing 6-1 start. And while they've cooled off a bit, they've played well in their first 13 games.
"I think we're playing really hard," MCC first-year head coach Liz Lewis said. "We're really coming together as a team."
Lewis was hired late in the summer and had a very short time to recruit and build a team for this season. Through the early part of the schedule, the Lady Pioneers had to play with just seven players and have only eight on their roster.
"Actually, I am fairly surprised that we're 8-5 right now" Lewis said. "Pleasantly surprised with where we are. It's exciting to see us doing so well. It comes down to how hard the girls work."
MCC opened the season 6-1, with their only loss a 79-32 defeat at the hands of Williston State. They played Williston later in the season, making a better game in the 72-59 loss.
Since their 6-1 start, the Lady Pioneers have gone 2-4, including two straight losses in Region IX play. They are now 1-2 in the North Sub-Region.
The Lady Pioneers have been up and down offensively. They are scoring 68 points per game, but are shooting just 37 percent from the field. They are 27 percent from three-point range, but are a solid 72 percent from the line.
"The fact that the girls get along and play hard together has kept us in games," Lewis said. "Our shots are starting to fall. The girls get in the gym and are willing to work hard and willing to do what it takes to be successful."
Jaycin Tini, Tess Blaquiere and Petra Lumpert have led the Lady Pioneers throughout the early part of the season.
Tini is averaging 17.3 points and eight rebounds per game. Blaquiere averages 13.7 and 8.2 and Lumpert scores 12.2 per game and leads the team with 4.5 assists per game.
Ashley Malmquist and Ashley Hildreth each score around seven points per game.
The Lady Pioneers have a pair of non-conference games this weekend and will be busy with Region IX games when they get back from the Christmas break.
"We have to stay in shape over break for sure," Lewis said. "That's something I've stressed: stay in the gym and get up a lot of shots every day."