BY BRETT FRIEDENSOHN
The winter season and the men’s and women’s basketball seasons have begun at the County College of Morris. The men have lost their first five games. After losing their first three games, the women went 2-1 in their next three in Region XIX. Their first win came during the semifinals of the Turkey Hoop Shoot Tournament against Rowan College on Nov 21, their first win during the tournament in about 30 years and acquiring a plaque to commemorate it.
The Women’s Basketball team has a general consensus that their ability to play as a team has improved since their slow start.
“It’s hard because I adopted this team,” said head coach Brenda DeNure, who coached her first season at CCM for a team that had no coach last season.
DeNure said that the three students who returned to the team from last year relied on their habits of leading themselves in the beginning and often did not follow instructions.
“After two games of being blown out, I said ‘We’re going to do it my way now,’” DeNure said. “And they realized, ‘Hey, we can win.’ And we did.”
Coach DeNure comes to campus with 27 years of coaching experience at the New Jersey Institute of Technology and girl’s rec in Roxbury with Assistant Coach Jill Scully.
“They’re really good girls,” DeNure said. “They work very hard, they do what they’re asked. The stubbornness is actually not a bad thing sometimes, because they’ll take it out on the court.”
Anna Koepfler, women’s basketball player and engineering science major, said she thought they lost in the beginning because they were a new team with a new coach.
“We’re all new to each other,” Koepfler said. “I expect us to get more wins, I think we lost in the beginning because our shots weren’t following, and we’re a new team. Our record doesn’t show how good we really are, so some teams come out and they think it’s gonna be an easy win, but we really try to hold out.”
Kopfler said that her teammates have learned to communicate well and not hold grudges, and she complimented Coach Denure’s knowledge of the sport.
“If we evolve on different levels as it relates to the game we will prevail, but it starts in the classroom,” said Eric Powe, Head Coach of the men’s team. “The team has great potential, however we need to identify what we do well and keep doing it.”