Coach Ontjes has high hopes

By Lariena Nokes

Bailey Terry/Collegian - Kyla William, New Orleans, Louisiana, does work in the post, scoring two against Tabor JV on Oct. 31. On Halloween, Williams scored 13 points.
Bailey Terry/Collegian - Kyla William, New Orleans, Louisiana, does work in the post, scoring two against Tabor JV on Oct. 31. On Halloween, Williams scored 13 points.

The start of Lady Dragons basketball shows a great deal of promise.

With two games played at the Sports Arena the season appeared to be off to a great start.

Lady Dragons basketball coach John Ontjes shared a minute of his time after an intense practice on Nov. 3.

The Lady Dragons had rolled over North Central Missouri on Oct. 30, by a score of 85-49, and they demolished the Tabor JV the next night, 80-43.

Was this an indicator of what they will be doing to teams in the Jayhawk West?

“I do not know if it is an indicator,” Ontjes said.

“It’s early, it’s our first two games. Unfortunately, our opponents were not as strong as we are going to see in the Jayhawk West. We have a long ways to go and we are trying to get better each day.”

In the first half of the Missouri game, the Dragons hit 54% of their shots, and 43% in the second half. In the Tabor game, they hit 50% and 51% in the two halves.

Ontjes was pleased

“Yeah, both games we shot a high percentages and you look at that with our ball movement and our unselfishness. If we can continue to do that we can shoot a high percentage,” he said.

The Dragons made 15 steals in the North Central Missouri game and 17 steals in the Tabor game.

“We guarded gaps, and we did a good job of pressuring the ball to force turnovers,” the coach said.

The Nov. 2 practice took place in a nearly empty Sports Arena.

Walter Woods, Hutchinson, was there with a handful of others to cheer the Lady Dragons team on, with real enthusiasm.

“I have been a die-hard fan for 20 years,” Woods said.

Looking out over the practice court as the coaches corrected players and blew whistles, Wood’s thoughts turned to the team effort.

“They gotta be in shape because they only got eight or nine players,” he said.

After 20 years of cheering on the Lady Dragons basketball, Wood’s made an observation.

“They need all the help they can get on the road,” he said. “Some years back we had two or three busses of fans for every road game.”

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