Jenine Coriz begins her senior season with Haskell Indian Nations University.
LAWRENCE, KANSAS – The Haskell women’s basketball team returns all starters who are looking to improve on last year’s fourth place conference finish after an (8-8) record in the Midlands Collegiate Athletics Conference (MCAC).
Coach Shane Flanagan returns for his third year and is very optimistic about this year’s team. “I’m excited about this year; we have a couple all conference girls coming back, Kelli Warrior and Jenine Coriz. We finished fourth in the conference last year and I think we’re one of two teams to return all their starters. That’s encouraging and I’ve liked how we’ve looked in the preseason. Realistically I think we’re going to finish in a higher spot this year.”
Flanagan was also impressed with the team’s improvements in strength and conditioning, ““I think we’ve made great improvements in our strength and conditioning. The girls have been running “two a days” pretty much since they got here. We’re really working them hard and their looking stronger and healthier we all even gave up soda. Conditioning is really a big part of it as well so we’re really paying attention to the little things. I want to play at a faster pace this year and their looking good.”
Kelli Warrior returns for her sophomore year to the Indians coming off a stellar freshman year where she took the “MCAC Freshman of the Year” award well averaging 16 points per game and 6.5 rebounds. Flanagan had this to say of Warrior’s progression, “well her big thing was conditioning last year, I think she averaged twenty minutes or less and sixteen points a game. I needed to get her minutes up. She lost over thirty pounds over the summer. She’s stronger and running the floor much better than she’s ever done. She’s posting up well and we’re working on expanding her game with other moves well increasing her role. We’ve really gone to work on conditioning. She’s motivated, she texted me over the summer about how excited she was for this year and she’s come in a different and more mature player and that’s exciting. I don’t know of any other team’s that really have a player that has the size and the athleticism to stop her inside.”
Keli Warrior begins her Sophomore campaign after being named MCAC Freshman of the Year last season.
Kelli Warrior commented on her progression over the summer, “I really wanted to get in shape because last year conditioning was a really big problem for me. Over the summer I really took my training seriously. I changed my eating habits and lost anywhere from 10-15 inches around my waist. I can see the improvement and my coaches and teammates can too. Hopefully I’ll be able to play more minutes than I did last year.”
The Indians return three seniors as well this year in Jenine Coriz, Tahnee Stands, and Tiffany Sullivan. Flanagan is very impressed with them, “Coriz came out of Santa Fe and was highly recruited. She’s a great leader she plays and she talks to her teammates. She shot great last year, I think close to 40% on three point shots. Free throw wise were still working on that but she’s doing fantastic. She’s in shape and strong and was the defensive player of the year in our conference last year. I’m expecting big things from her. I’m putting more of an offensive emphasis on her to look to score and be more aggressive.”
Tahnee Stands is going to be a senior this year and has been with me all three years. She had a couple injuries early on but she was looking very good in practice. She did all the things we needed her to do and is very understanding of her role. If we can get her playing well I think we’re going to do very well this season. She can take some of that pressure off and has a lot of ability.” Tiffany Sullivan comes in as a senior hoping to make an impact as well.
Jenine Coriz gave her thoughts on her final year on the basketball team, “Being a senior is bitter sweet. It definitely has been a great adventure. I have gained so many memories and experiences. Me and my fellow seniors know how dangerous of a team we can be as long as we trust each other, and play to our full potential. I know we can be a very successful team when we play together as a unit.”
Haskell has five newcomers which will help add to the depth to both the back and front court. Flanagan gave his insight, “I really like my freshman. Lynnail Curley has come in and pushed Arnetia Begay and Courtney Meat who are two of my starters for time. She’s somebody that has really responded to couching. She’s competitive, tough and fits right in.”
“We had an issue with depth last year, pulling people in and out. So I brought in Courtney Jones who’s a junior college transfer out of Tahlequah and I think she averaged somewhere around 20 points in high school. She’s come in and done well at guard off the bench. Jenna and Savanah are returning to help us out in the post. Brandi Buffalo’s conditioning is a huge factor with her. I gave her the most improved player of the year award last year. She’s really picked things up.”
With Warrior and Coriz accounting for over fifty percent of the team’s offense coach is looking for others to step up and put points on the board. “Arneita Begay has come in and looked fantastic her shot is on right now and she has been running the floor very well. Courtney Meat is more motivated and is probably our best overall athlete at the guard position. Tania Murphy is doing very well with her outside shooting. Courtney Jones has shown flashes of being a big scorer. That’s what she did in high school. She has a pretty good outside shot and a nice first step. They all have the potential to step up on any given night.” Flanagan said.
The Lady Indians begin their season on the road on October 27th and have their first home game of the season on November 1st
(Charlie Perry is the editor of Haskell’s Indian Leader Newspaper and a member of the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation. He is also a contributing writer for NDNsports.com. Charlie can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @CharlieHPerry)
Editor’s Note: This article first appeared in NDNSports.com. Used with permission. All rights reserved.
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