FMCC women’s basketball ready for season opener

PHOTOGRAPHER:

The Fulton-Montgomery Community College women’s basketball team gives a cheer before returning to the court following a time out. 

JOHNSTOWN — The Fulton-Montgomery Community College women’s basketball team is scheduled to travel to Batavia to face Genesee Community College on Thursday at 3 p.m. It will be the team’s first game since Feb. 25, 2020.

The Lady Raiders will be making up for lost time in a big way, completing their 18-game season in a span of 34 days.

“We hope to compete and stay healthy so we can complete the season,” FMCC coach Kevin Jones said. “If we stay healthy, it will be tough, but we can get through it.”

Jones has coached FMCC for the past 23 seasons and heads into the new campaign with a roster of just seven players.

The only holdovers from the 2019-20 season are Djenba Ndiaye (Harlem/Bayard Rustin H.S.) and Katie LaGrange (Mayfield/Mayfield H.S.), who were part of an FMCC squad that went 13-11 overall.

The rest of the roster includes Harmony Philo (Gloversville/Gloversville H.S.), Caroline Ianotti (Broadalbin-Perth/Broadalbin-Perth H.S.), Shanna Bliss (Maspeth/William C. Bryant H.S.), Gabby Langley (Gloversville/Gloversville H.S.) and Kiarra Kennedy (Middletown/Middletown H.S.).

Philo finished her four-year career at Gloversville as the program’s all-time leading scorer with 1,837 points. She was the Foothills Council’s Most Valuable Player in her senior season in 2019. Philo also finished her career with a Section II record 284 3-pointers.

With just seven players, the Lady Raiders will need to stay healthy. They also will have to overcome the disadvantage of not playing any games in the first semester.

“There were contributing factors, but it was mostly due to our housing situation,” Jones said. “We also didn’t have the numbers to put a team together.”

Jones said he’s expecting his team to improve as the season goes on.

“Kids don’t stop playing, so I think it’s more of a disadvantage for us not playing the first semester,” he said. “I think we will get it together by regional time.”

In addition to not playing so far this season, the Lady Raiders also will face the challenge of a condensed schedule that features just six home games.

FMCC is slated to play eight games between Thursday and Jan. 30 before finishing with a stretch of 10 games in 16 days in February.

The Lady Raiders play their first three games on the road at Genesee (Thursday), Tompkins Cortland (Saturday) and Finger Lakes (Sunday) before hosting Mohawk Valley Community College on Jan. 18 at 5 p.m.

Despite the challenges ahead, Jones said the goals remain the same for his program.

“As always, we’re trying to win our conference and region, and make the national tournament,” he said.

FMCC Women’s Basketball Schedule

Date     Opponent         Time

January

1/13     at Genesee       3

1/15     at Tompkins Cortland 1

1/16     at Finger Lakes              1

1/18     MOHAWK VALLEY        5

1/22     at Corning        1

1/23     at SUNY Adirondack    12

1/27     at Jefferson      6

1/30     SUNY BROOME             1

February

2/2        HERKIMER        5

2/3        at Hudson Valley          5

2/5        at Mohawk Valley        1

2/6        at Onondaga   1

2/7        at Herkimer      5

2/9        NORTH COUNTRY         5

2/12     at North Country          1

2/13     SUNY ADIRONDACK    1

2/15     at Cayuga         5

2/16     HUDSON VALLEY          5

Home games in CAPS

By Paul Wager

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