Spartans Show Competitive Spirit As Season Ends

The 2018-2019 Cayuga Community College Women's Basketball Team finished the season with a 6-16 record.
The 2018-2019 Cayuga Community College Women's Basketball Team finished the season with a 6-16 record.

There was no quit in the Cayuga Women's Basketball Team in the 2018-2019 season, with players showing a strong competitive drive as they fought adversity and a tough schedule.

Playing with a shortened roster in the second half of the season, Cayuga remained competitive against conference opponents, losing several games by less than 10 points. The Spartans closed the season with a 6-16 record overall and a 1-11 mark in Mid-State Athletic Conference games.

"I'm proud of us for playing tough through all the adversity we faced this season," said Coach Jim Alberici. "We were competitive in most of our games, even in the second half of the season when we were down a few players. Everyone kept pushing and giving it everything they could. As a coach you can't ask for more than that."

Alberici pointed to two wins over Herkimer College and the Spartans' win against Finger Lakes Community College as the season's high points. Cayuga was down at least 10 points in each game against Herkimer, but fought back to win the two games by a combined eight points.

Against Finger Lakes, Cayuga rebounded from a series of tough losses to defeat their conference opponent by a 57-52 score. Alberici said the win over Finger Lakes was a testament to the team's fight.

"We'd lost several consecutive games, and to rebound and show the spirit and will that our team demonstrated in that game was incredible. It showed that even as the season had been difficult, everyone was still competing and getting after it each game."

Sophomore guard Erica Helzer led Cayuga with 14.8 points per game, and also paced the Spartans with 3.6 assists and 4 steals per game. Sophomore forward Loren Clifford was second on Cayuga with 12.7 points per game, and led the Spartans with 9.1 rebounds per contest. Hanna Keyser was third with 10.5 points per game.

Helzer, who was named to the All-Conference Team, finished her career at Cayuga with 501 career points. Clifford finished her career with 512 points.

"Those are both really impressive totals, to score that many points in just two seasons," said Alberici. "Day-in and day-out, Erica and Loren were leaders on our team who kept everyone motivated and competing. I can't say enough about their effort this season."

Looking ahead to next season, the Spartans have several players eligible to return, including guard Brynanh Sledge and forwards Tajhia Jones and Breayle Williams, who averaged almost 7 points and more than 8 rebounds per game.