Down to five players on the roster, the South Puget Sound Community College Clippers women’s basketball team will forfeit the remaining 10 games on the schedule and finish the season 0-23.
“It was a hard, tough decision,” SPSCC athletic director Pam Charpentier said. “We felt we made the best decision for the team, the program, the institution and the Western Region division.”
It’s been a nightmare season for Mychael Heuer, who was hired in June to coach the Clippers. He’s lost players to car wrecks, knee injuries, transfers, academic ineligibility and mononucleosis.
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“It’s been frustrating,” Heuer said.
Two big hits to rock Heuer’s first season were the transfer of four sophomores to Centralia College and the ruling that four players were academically ineligible.
The Clippers played most of the season with just six players. They lost their first nine games, scoring an average of 43.7 points. After a 62-48 loss to Centralia on Jan. 5, Alexa Justus quit, leaving Heuer with just five players.
Monteaka Norwood, the Clippers’ leading scorer, then came down with mono. With just four healthy players, SPSCC was forced to forfeit its next three games.
Heuer still clung to the hope of picking up several players in an all-campus tryout to finish the season. But he picked up only one player – Ali Shamberg, who had played on the school’s softball team.
Camille Hicks, a freshman guard from Timberline High School, was playing with a strained knee.
“We took into consideration what type of experience these young ladies would have,” Charpentier said. “I think for the health and welfare of these girls we decided to end our season.”
It’s the third time the Clippers endured a winless season since the program began in 1992. They didn’t win a game in their first two seasons, going 0-46.
Heuer replaced Dee Dee Horton in June and took over a team that finished 13-10 in Horton’s sixth and last season.
Charpentier is confident Heuer, who has 26 years of coaching experience, can turn the program around.
“I have total faith in Mychael,” Charpentier said. “He came on board late. He didn’t have a chance to do much recruiting. A lot of what happened was out of his control.”
Heuer is busy recruiting for next season.
“This fires up my competitiveness,” Heuer said.
Gail Wood: 360-754-5443 firstname.lastname@example.org