The Hilbert College Women’s basketball team season ended in a 60-68 loss in the conference tournament to Alfred State.
Coming off an abbreviated season last year due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the Lady Hawks had a lot of turnover from the previous roster. With a first year head coach and a team with many freshman, the Hawks had to find their way as a team.
The Lady Hawks finished the regular season 8-18. They had 2 All conference 3rd team selections in Ashley Schroeder and Macy Kisner. Kisner also won conference defensive player of the year.
Youth and inexperience came up as one of the biggest reasons for the Lady Hawk’s struggles early in the season, players and coaches.
“We had a new coaching staff, we had a lot of freshmen, and we had a lot of people who had never really played in an actual collegiate game, even are sophomores,” Head Coach Nicole Bullock said. “They played scrimmages, but not a game. We had a lot of challenges to overcome just off the cuff.”
“Throughout the whole season, it was a lot of adjustments that need to be made because of a new Coach coming in, majority of the girls hadn’t actually played college basketball,” Schroeder said. “Macy and I were the only two who had played consistently out of everyone on the team. And so there was, like a lot of just like trying to figure each other out, trying to figure the game out like it was just very new for a lot of people. And then once we started figuring things out like we started going on a couple of winning streaks and we started doing a lot better, playing a lot better together as a team.”
Leadership came up as a reason for the second half turnaround, Bullock said, pointing to Alesia Hamm along with Kisner and Schroeder as players who took on leadership roles.
“I think we have a couple different leadership styles for kids on our team,” Bullock said. “Alesia Hamm is probably our best leader by example. Not the most outspoken person but she is consistently our hardest worker and always giving her best effort.”
Bullock said Schroeder excelled as a leader.
“As a point guard, that’s a natural leadership position,” she said. “She does a really good job of trying to be a positive leader. She will put people where they need to be, remind them where they need to be, but then also is the first person to give you a high five, first person to congratulate you on a good move.”
Kisner also showed a lot of spirit during games.
“Macy is probably our sassiest leader and I say that as an endearing term,” Bullock said. “She just has this real competitive edge to her and kind of allows everybody to feed off that energy. So I think leadership wise those three would probably fit where we’re trying to do.“
The Lady Hawks went 7-5 in the second half of the year, good enough to lock up the conference’s No. 4 seed in the conference tournament, and a showdown with Alfred State. Late into the contest the Lady Hawks trailed by 6 with less than half a minute to go in the game and opted to attack the basket instead of attempting a three pointer.
“Whether we got a three or whether we gotta two, it was still gonna be a two possession game. We had not shot well from the floor in general,” Bullock said. “We were not shooting well from the three, so I wanted to get a quick two, possible 3-point play and then get right back into our pressure defense and allow our defensive player of the year and other people do what they do, and if we couldn’t, then we were going to foul and get it back…. Could have gone either way. Could have gone for the three and then allowed to at least get a rebound or facing a rebound and get a quick put back and still would have had it. But I was really trying to get to the free throw line and get the clock stopped as quickly as possible.”
Kisner said they are best when attacking the basket.
“We’re not a great three-point shooting team,” Kisner said. “If you look at our shooting percentages. It’s not great, and one of our strong points is going to basket and getting to the free throw line. So she was going for the ‘And one’ for that three-point play… getting fouled there is a win win situation, the clock stops, and you have a chance to get points.”
With another year of experience under everyone’s belt and with incoming recruiting class the Lady Hawks are optimistic in building on their win total next season, Bullock said.