By Rob Kiser
Miami Valley Today
PIQUA — The Corona Virus may have stopped the Edison State Community College women’s basketball team from making its second trip to the NJCAA D-II national tournament.
But, it can’t take away from the most memorable season in Edison State women’s basketball history — or a historic one for the entire athletic program.
The Chargers changed the view on how the program is perceived — going 28-3, sharing the OCCAC title to give the school its first conference title in any sport and set the bar high for bigger and better things in the future.
“I thought we were going to be pretty good,” Edison State Community College coach Tim McMahon said. “We were good at the start of the season, but we just kept getting better.”
The team lost two games early to Mott College — then ran off 10 straight wins.
After losing a road game to Lakeland in OCCAC play, the Chargers finished the season with 10 straight wins, including two over Lakeland in a span of one week.
Mott finished the season 25-4, while Lakeland finished 25-3.
“We had the two losses to Mott,” McMahon said. “But, Mott was a really good team. After the loss to Lakeland, I thought we played our best basketball.”
And the Chargers did it with great balance.
All five starters average in double figures, while sophomore post Rebekah New (Houston) and freshman guard Mariah Baker (Kenton Ridge) combined for almost 12 points a game off the bench.
Sophomore post Sarah Pothast (Wapakoneta) led the team in scoring with 13.4 points per game, to go with 7.6 rebounds per game.
Freshman Allison Siefring (St. Henry) averaged a double-double with 13.4 points and 11.8 rebounds, despite standing just 5-foot-6. She adds 2.7 assists and 1.7 steals.
Freshman Maddy Bakosh (Springboro) averaged 12.3 points, 4.9 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 2.3 steals; while sophomore Brogan McIver (Lehman Catholic) averaged 11.9 points, 2.5 assists and 1.7 steals.
Freshman guard Audra Schaub (Wapakoneta) added 10.8 points, 2.6 assists and 2.4 steals.
Rounding out the roster are Baker, New, sophomores Elysabette Andrews (Lima Bath) and Emily Powell (Piqua) and freshman Mallory Armentrout (Kenton Ridge), Sydney Kuritar (Little Miami) and Kayla Bergman (New Bremen).
McMahon also credits assistant coaches Doug Martin and Tim Gleason.
“I feel like I have the best staff there is,” McMahon said. “Those guys put in an incredible amount of time.”
Siefring was named third team All-American by World Exposure Basketball Report and Edison State was ranked 11th in the final poll.
“You know, when you are ranked in the top 20 (nationally) that is pretty good,” McMahon said.
And he understands the legacy the team leaves.
“We set a school record wins with 28,” he said. “We shared the conference title — the school’s first conference title. We advanced to nationals.”
And don’t expect this season to be the end.
The Chargers recruiting class includes several first team All-Ohio selections.
“We have three starters back and a girl that gave us a lot of minutes off the bench,” McMahon said. “We have a great recruiting class. I think for the coaching staff, it does (raise their expectations for the future. I think it probably does (change the way the program is viewed by others). It definitely helps recruiting.”
At the same time, the most difficult day for McMahaon was telling his players — especially the sophomores — that their season was over.
The NJCAA D-II national tournament was originally postponed to April 20, before being cancelled all together.
“How do you tell them (his team) the season is over,” McMahon said. “There is no closure. It is kind of like the Minster and Fort Loramie girls. It would have been better to go to nationals and lose. At least you could say you played in the tournament.”
On the other side, Edison State became one of the few teams to end its season with a win — to qualify for nationals no less.
“You look at it, there weren’t many teams in Ohio still playing college basketball,” McMahon said.
The hope is that they may get to come together one last time — at the annual awards banquet for what would be a very special night.
But, that is on hold as well right now.
“The school is closed right now,” McMahon said. “So, we are not sure right now.”
But regardless — the 2019-20 Edison State women’s basketball season will live on in the record books.
And nothing can change that.
Contact Rob Kiser at email@example.com.
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