Off and running

OBSERVER Photo by Scott Kindberg Jamestown Community College freshman and Dunkirk High School graduate Jessica Beehler drives to the basket during Saturday’s NJCAA women’s basketball game against Lackawanna College at the Physical Education Complex.

The clock winding down in the final seconds of Saturday’s season opener, Jamestown Community College first-year women’s basketball coach Ken Ricker offered his players one last piece of advice.

“Don’t stop playing,” he implored from the bench.

Guess what?

The Jayhawks didn’t.

Not in that game — a 111-102 loss to Lackawanna (Pennsylvania) College at the Physical Education Complex — and certainly not on Sunday in an 85-77 come-from-behind victory over Harcum College, in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania.

OBSERVER Photo by Scott Kindberg In photo above, Jamestown Community College freshman and Dunkirk High School graduate Kymi Nance drives to the basket during Saturday’s NJCAA women’s basketball game against Lackawanna College at the Physical Education Complex.

The weekend split was a satisfying one for Ricker, who is just happy that his players — all nine of them — can be on the court at all during the pandemic.

“No matter what happens this season in terms of outcome, the positives are going to outweigh the negatives,” he said.

But if first impressions mean anything, it will be an entertaining, albeit abbreviated, campaign, because the style Ricker employs — known as “the system” — requires non stop running and shooting on offense, and full-court trapping on defense.

On Saturday against Lackawanna College, the Jayhawks took a 48-43 into halftime and were tied 78-all after three quarters, but the visitors — behind guards Nya Morris and Daeja Cromartie — pulled away in the final six minutes for the win, their fourth of the season without a loss.

Morris poured in a game-high 40 points, connecting on 15 of 27 shots, including 7 of 14 from the arc. Cromartie added 23 points, while Jamiya Eaddy had 15 points and Kiana Williams added 14 points and 13 rebounds.

OBSERVER Photo by Scott Kindberg Jamestown Community College freshman and Dunkirk native Nadara O’Dell (4) fights for the ball in traffic during Saturday’s NJCAA women’s basketball game.

Jamestown CC was led by Dunkirk High graduate Nadara O’Dell with 30 points on 12 of 19 shooting. Jessica Beehler, another Dunkirk grad, added 18 points and 11 assists; Hannah Hicks had 20 points and 18 rebounds; and Kymi Nance, yet another Dunkirk native, had 13 points.

On Sunday, the Jayhawks left campus at 6 a.m. for the six-hour drive to Harcum College. A NJCAA Division II school, Harcum is a traditional Division II power, which finished last season 28-3. Its losses this year have come against Lackawanna College, 70-58 and 67-47, and now the Jayhawks, who rallied from a 42-36 halftime deficit.

O’Dell led the way with 27 points, 10 rebounds and four steals.

“At the beginning of last season (at Dunkirk High School), she wasn’t going to shoot a 3-pointer no matter what I asked,” Ricker said. “She’s really made herself into a proficient shooter. She also got her runouts and found some layups.”

O’Dell had help, too.

Beehler finished with 14 points and 12 assists; Nance had 13 points; Kate Tedquist added 11 points, four rebounds, three assists and five steals; Hicks hauled down 18 rebounds; and Amari Carter, another Dunkirk graduate, grabbed nine boards.

Ronnasia Blatch-Huggins led Harcum College with 22 points, but the hosts, who had only seven women on the bench, finished the game with only three players on the court after three fouled out and another one chose not to go back in the game.

“We played really hard,” Ricker said. It’s a process. It’s different and we’re still adjusting. We saw a lot of zone today — we hadn’t worked on a lot of zone stuff (in practice) — but they stuck with it. It was absolutely a team win. Everybody stepped up and made a few plays here and there.”

The game with Harcum College was added to the schedule late last week when Jamestown CC’s original Friday opponent, Bryant & Stratton of Albany had to cancel.

“It was a great opportunity,” Ricker said. “We took this game just three days ago. … (Harcum College) is a really good team and they’re going to be really good in their area. They always are. It was just a great opportunity. We’re getting better.”

The Jayhawks return to action Wednesday when they travel to Niagara County CC in a Region 3 Division II game. It will be the first of four regular-season meetings with the Thunderwolves,who lost their season opener to Lackawanna College, 97-96, on Sunday.


Lackawanna College 20 23 35 33 — 111

Jamestown CC 30 18 30 24 — 102


Morris 15-27 3-4 40, Bradford 1-2 0-0 2, Eaddy 6-8 2-5 15, Cromartie 10-17 104 23, Williams 6-13 2-6 14, Torres 1-6 0-0 3, Duley 2-9 2-2 7, Lewis 1-1 0-0 2, Butler 0-0 0-0 0, Amos 0-4 1-2 1, Herbert 2-7 0-0 4, Totals 44-94 11-23 111.


O’Dell 12-19 5-9 30, Beehler 7-17 103 18, Hicks 8-16 4-6 20, Tedquist 1-2 6-8 8, Burk 1-9 0-2 2, Nance 5-14 1-2 13, Schuppenhauer 2-50-0 4, Lundmark 0-2 0-1 0, Carter 3-5 0-0 7, Totals 39-89 17-31 102.

3-point goals–Lackawanna College 12-37 (Morris 7-14, Bradford 0-1, Eaddy 1-2, Cromartie 2-6, Torres 1-5, Duley 1-6, Amos 0-2, Herbert 0-1), Jamestown CC (O’Dell 1-3, Beehler 3-5, Hicks 0-2, Burk 0-3, Nance 2-7, Schuppenhauer 0-2, Carter 1-3). Rebounds — Lackawanna College 55 (Williams 13), Jamestown CC 57 (Hicks 18). Assists — Lackawanna College 29 (Morris 6, Bradford 6), Jamestown CC 20 (Beehler 11). Total fouls — Lackawanna College 26, Jamestown CC 22. Fouled out — Bradford, Eaddy, Herbert,.


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