By Rob Kiser
Miami Valley Today
PIQUA — It is time for the Edison State Community College women’s basketball team to “Get More Better” as they return to the NJCAA D-II nationals for the first time since 2007.
The only question is when that time will come.
When the team made the trip to nationals in 2007, current coach Tim McMahon was assistant coach and came up with shirts stating that.
That shirt resurfaced on Facebook after Edison State earned its second national trip last weekend.
The Chargers were scheduled to play PIMA from the Tuscon Arizona area in the tournament opener at 3 p.m. Tuesday at C4 Fieldhouse in Port Huron, MI.
The tournament is now tentatively scheduled to begin April 20 — a decision made Thursday.
“I wasn’t expecting this until I heard the NBA season was suspended,” McMahon said. “Then, the NCAA tournaments were cancelled, so you had to wonder if something was going to happen.”
McMahon is trying to figure out the next step.
“That is what we were just talking about,” McMahon said. “I think we are probably going to take a week off and then we will see where we are at. It is frustrating. I understand why the decision had to be made, but it is frustrating. We were just coming off a high last Saturday (from advancing to nationals) and now we are kind of in limbo.”
As for this year’s team motto, McMahan isn’t sure.
“I really haven’t come up with a motto for this year’s team,” McMahon said.
But, the current players saw the photo of those shirts form 2007— and had different reactions.
“That is just so Tim McMahon,” sophomore guard Brogan McIver (Lehman Catholic) said. “Sometimes when he is talking to us, he will start talking so fast he is hard to understand and he will forget what he said. That (Get More Better) is just so Tim.”
Freshman wing Allison Siefring (St. Henry) didn’t know what to make of the shirt.
“I didn’t get it,” Siefring said. “I don’t understand what that means.”
Freshman wing Maddy Bakosh (Springboro) just thought it was funny.
“I thought it was great,” she said.
What all three will agree on is this season has been an amazing run.
Edison State shared it first conference title of any kind, is 28-3 and will be making its second appearance ever at nationals.
“I came from Lehman,” McIver said. “I was fortunate enough that Tim (McMahon) recruited me. It has been incredible. There we were again (for the second straight week) cutting down nets and we are playing in nationals.”
“I wasn’t expecting this at all,” Siefring said. “This (playing in nationals) is like a dream. I had seen other teams go to state and things like that in high school. This is something I have always dreamed of.”
Bakosh is also surprised.
“I didn’t expect this,” she said. “Coming to Edison State is the best decision I have ever made, that is for sure. I am so excited to be going to nationals. I could play the game right now.”
Two things have defined this Chargers team.
Balance throughout the lineup and big play off the bench.
“We are nine or ten deep,” McMahon said. “We have a lot of girls that contribute.”
The season stats bear that out.
All five starters average in double figures, while sophomore post Rebekah New (Houston) and freshman guard Mariah Baker (Kenton Ridge) combine for almost 12 points a game off the bench.
Sophomore post Sarah Pothast (Wapakoneta) leads the team in scoring with 13.4 points per game, to go with 7.6 rebounds per game.
Siefring averages a double-double with 13.4 points and 11.8 rebounds, despite standing just 5-foot-6. She adds 2.7 assists and 1.7 steals.
“Allison (Siefring) is amazing,” McMahon said. “She just has a knack for the basketball.”
Bakosh averages 12.3 points, 4.9 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 2.3 steals; while McIver averages 11.9 points, 2.5 assists and 1.7 steals.
Freshman guard Audra Schaub (Wapakoneta) adds 10.8 points, 2.6 assists and 2.4 steals.
Rounding out the roster are Baker, New, sophomores Elysabette Andrews (Lima Bath) and Emily Powell (Piqua) and freshman Mallory Armentrout (Kenton Ridge), Sydney Kuritar (Little Miami) and Kayla Bergman (New Bremen).
“I knew this team would be pretty good,” McMahon said.
In the district semifinal game against Cuyahoga, Siefring had 23 points and 14 rebounds for another double-double — while going a perfect 3-for-3 from long range.
Bakosh filled out the stat sheet with 18 points, five assists and three steals and was 5-for-8 on 3-pointers, while Pothast also had a double-double with 10 points, 11 rebounds and three assists.
Baker had a big-game off the bench with 12 points, six rebounds and five assists.
Schaub scored 11 points and New added seven.
In the championship game against Lakeland, McIver had 19 points in the game and hit seven of eight free throws.
But, that is only part of the story. She hit two 3-pointers late to rally the Chargers from a 3-point deficit.
“We needed a lot of energy in that game,” McIver said. “I just had a lot of energy from the time I woke up that morning.”
Bakosh turned in a strong floor game with 15 points, six assists and four steals.
Siefring added her second double-double of the tournament with 13 points and 10 rebounds, to go with three assists.
Pothast had nine points, seven rebounds and three assists, while Mariah Baker had 10 points off the bench and Elysabette Andrews added nine.
Schaub added six points and three assists.
“Against Cuyahoga, Maddy (Bakosh) had a big game,” McMahon said. “Then, Brogan (McIver) stepped up against Lakeland. If it is not them, it is Allison Siefring, Sarah Pothast or Audra Schaub. ”
Now, the 10th-seeded Chargers face seventh seed PIMA.
“Looking at them on film, I think we can match up with them,” McMahon said. “But, everybody is good at this level. It is kind of neat to get to play teams from other parts of the country. You just have to hit shots. That is what it comes down too.”
McMahon knows how big this is for the program.
“To be 28-3 and playing at nationals,” he said. “It has to help recruiting. It has to. Maybe, we can go to nationals and make some more history.”
Now, the Chargers are just hoping for the opportunity to work on “Getting More Better”.
Contact Rob Kiser at [email protected].
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