JOHNSTOWN - After going 19-8 before falling to Mohawk Valley in the regional semifinals last season, the Fulton-Montgomery Community College Lady Raiders basketball team is primed for another successful run in 2013-14.
The Lady Raiders have three starters returning from last year.
Kassandra Flowers, a sophomore who averaged 17.1 points per game and chipped in two steals per contest last season, is back for another go-around with the team. Flowers was the Mountain Valley Conference Player of the Year for 2012-13 and was also named to the Region II, Division III All-Region team.
Fulton-Montgomery Community College’s Kassandra Flowers (5) drives against Finger Lakes Community College’s Jordan Smith during a Region III Division III quarterfinal game on Feb 2. (The Leader-Herald/James A. Ellis)
Sherice Gayle and Monae Abrams are two players with starting experience that figure to be big pieces for head coach Kevin Jones.
"Both are forwards for us and should be strong this year," Jones said.
Abrams sat last season out, but Gayle put together averages of 9.7 points and 6.2 rebounds per contest.
Two key graduates no longer with the team this season are Grace Rutagengwa and Cheryl Osborne. Rutagengwa chipped in 5.7 points and 5.3 rebounds per game, while Osborne put up 7.3 points and 6.1 rebounds per game in 2012-13.
Newcomers this season include Duanesburg alumni Stephanie Rice, a versatile player who can play two or three positions due to her 5'10'' height, and Jessica Woney, a dangerous scorer joining the team out of New York City. The team will also feature Evanda Redwood and Erica Redwood, a pair of 5'8'' twins who can play both guard and forward.
"The freshman group looks really good as well as the other sophomores coming off the bench or fighting for a starting spot right now," said Jones. "They're also going to be nice additions to help us be successful this year."
The Lady Raiders will open their season on the road against Tompkins Cortland Community College Saturday at 1 p.m. Their first home game will be on Nov. 16 versus Cayuga.
According to Jones, the goal for this season is simple.
"What we're looking to do is we're looking to win the conference, try to win the region, and make it to the national tournament like we try to do every year."