BY BRETT FRIEDENSOHN
The men’s and women’s basketball teams at County College of Morris began their 2016-17 seasons Tuesday, Nov. 8 when each team played a game against region competitor Mercer County Community College (MCCC).
Men’s basketball won its opening game 101-97 in overtime before improving to 2-0 both in the region and overall with a 101-84 win over Valley Forge Military Academy and College (VFMAC) Tuesday, Nov. 15.
Women’s basketball lost its season opener 72-33, then lost 98-9 to Harcum College Saturday, Nov. 12, bringing the team’s regional record to 0-2. The team then lost to VFMAC 76-19 Tuesday, Nov. 15, dropping its overall record to 0-3.
Brenda DeNure, head coach of women’s basketball, said that before the beginning of the season, seven of her recruits decided not to play in order to focus on school.
The team then did not have enough players to begin practicing three weeks before the season began as DeNure had wanted. Finally with nine players, they began practices just one week before the season began.
“I was a little disappointed, very disappointed with how they decided to do that, but what are you gonna do?” DeNure said. “When a coach recruits you, you don’t say, ‘I’m gonna play’ if you’re not gonna play, so it’s a little disappointing.”
DeNure said that she did not believe that her team would advance to the playoffs this season, but she hopes that it can use this season for rebuilding.
“We don’t have the talent,” DeNure said. “We’re just too raw. We’re too young. They’ve got a lot to learn, so build this year up.”
Zabrina Gale, forward and captain of the women’s basketball team, said after her team’s season opener that she hoped that the team would learn from the loss.
“I think it was a very tough game to begin with,” said Gale, a psychology major. “We definitely can work on a little more things just so we’re ready for the next game.”
CCM athletic director Jack Sullivan said that he expects the women to work diligently to improve.
“The women are a work in progress,” Sullivan said. “The women have work to do. They know that, and they’ll get it. They’re not afraid of hard work.”
Gale said everyone is giving 100 percent and that’s all she can ask for.
During its season opener against MCCC, the men’s basketball team came back from a 12-point deficit in the second half to win 101-97 in overtime.
“The men showed a lot of heart, played great defense, had a great come-from-behind win,” Sullivan said. “It’s a great way to open up the season for the region.”
TJ Adams, men’s basketball forward and liberal arts major, said that during the second half of the game, he and his team brought vigor that it did not have in the first half.
“I say the energy in the first half was lacking,” Adams said. “They came back, but we were able to maintain the confidence to win that game. It was a very winnable game.”
Adams said that his team should work on defense.
“As a team, I think we need to work on our defensive principles,” Adams said. “Like, we score the ball well, but the team should not be scoring 90 points on us.”