At Mackey Madness this afternoon, it was the Erika and Shereka show: both players were the highlights of an entertaining 33-29 scrimmage in front of a decent-sized crowd. Here's a breakdown of events:
The women's team was introduced by class at the beginning. Hannah Anderson piggy-backed Emily Heikes during the sophomore class introductions. The biggest applause was for Erika Valek, Shereka Wright, and Kelly Komara who is serving as an ass't coach. Mary Jo Noon was not at Mackey Madness because she was attending a wedding.
After introductions Erika, Beth Jones, Missy Taylor, and Sharika Webb participated in a 3-point shooting contest. Erika ran away with the victory, nailing all but perhaps 2-3 of her shots. Beth's shot is still quite pretty and she came in second if I had to guess at her tally. Missy gets nice extension on her shot and made a few 3's. Sharika didn't get much lift during her shot, ending up a few inches off the ground as she shot.
The two team for the scrimmage were as follows:
Hannah Anderson dressed but did not play.
Erika's team defeated Shereka's team, 33-29. There were no free throws shot during the scrimmage. Instead, two points were added if a player was fouled in the act of shooting. Three were added if the shot went in. Here are some observances:
1) Shereka played like Shereka always does: she didn't force the offense through herself, she tried to get her teammates involved, she blocked a few shots and stole a few passes, and made some startling-quick moves in the halfcourt. She may have benefitted the most from the "automatic points on fouls" rule, but if she becomes automatic at making FTs she's liable to score any time she chooses.
2) Erika overthrew Lindsey Hicks on a breakaway early in the scrimmage. That may have been her only misplay. She looked for her shot both on the break and in the halfcourt (making most of them), played good defense and forced a few steals, and was the least winded player at the end of the 15-minute scrimmage. Erika found the open players on her team quite often, especially if they were on the perimeter. Her shot had little arc in the 3-point contest. From lay-ins to mid-range jumpers to 3-pointers, Erika's shots were falling.
3) Lindsey and Beth were more aggressive with their shots than last year. Lindsey nailed a 3-pointer early on and had some effective, if unorthodox, moves down low for scores. Beth really looked to shoot from the get-go as she scored the first points of the scrimmage on a 3-pointer over Missy Taylor.
4) Emily, on the other hand, didn't seem to be in position to do a lot offensively in terms of shooting. She nailed a sweet turnaround J late in the scrimmage, but it seemed as if she was out on the wing or passing from the blocks when she got the ball.
5) The most impressive freshmen were Ashley and Carol. Ashley went to the hole strong to hit a couple of layups and made a few mid-range jumpers. Carol seems to have the skills to be a fine offensive rebounder, corraling 2-3 early on in the scrimmage. She made a nice move near the end of the scrimmage to get around her defender for a lay-in.
6) Even though her team came up on the short end of the score, I've got to give Shereka her props. The other team had a decided advantage in experience and had an extra player to substitute in and out of its lineup. Shereka, however, played with three freshmen and a sophomore who were far less aggressive than their counterparts. Shereka's team also couldn't substitute a player in and out to keep legs fresh. Erika may have played a near-perfect game in my eyes, but Shereka clearly has the ability to keep her team in any type of game with her skills and heart. The Boilers should be in every ballgame this year as Shereka exerts herself as the team's go-to player and Erika continues to make the correct decisions in ballgames.