Winning on the road 'huge' for NWF hoops
1/13/2012 – Winning on road 'huge'
By TRAVIS DOWNEY Northwest Florida Daily News 315-4476 | email@example.com
NICEVILLE — Patrick Harrington likes all Panhandle Conference wins equally, except, that is, when they come on the road.
One day removed from the Northwest Florida State College women's basketball team's 46-44 win at Chipola, Harrington, whose Raiders improved to 18-0 overall and 2-0 in league play, called Tuesday night's win "huge."
"Any win in the conference is huge, I always believe that," Harrington began. "A conference win on the road, in my opinion, is worth a little bit more because these Panhandle (Conference) teams are so good that when you go into their environment, it's a little bit tougher.
"I'm very proud that our ladies played extremely well for 32 minutes … we were able to sneak out of there with a victory."
After dispatching of the then second-ranked Gulf Coast State team last Saturday, the No. 1-ranked (FCSAA) Raiders will take on a Pensacola State team currently ranked second in the FCSAA Coaches' Poll this week. Still, as Harrington has done since his arrival in Niceville, the Raiders coach isn't putting any added stock into either team's ranking.
"Every team in the Panhandle (Conference) is as good as anyone else," Harrington said. "There's no No. 1 versus No. 2, we're all the same."
Kelley named Player of the Week
Freshman guard/forward Shae Kelley was named the FCSAA's Women's Basketball Player of the Week on Tuesday.
Kelley averaged 14.5 points and 5.5 rebounds per game last week. She also averaged 3.5 steals, 2.5 assists and 2.5 blocks. In the Raiders 68-58 win over Gulf Coast State, Kelley finished with 23 points, 17 of which came in the second half.
No. 1 NWF St. men not changing course
Having recently ascended to the top of the NJCAA National Poll, NWF St. guard Trency Jackson said the Raiders were "excited" about the No. 1 ranking, but realize there is much work to be done.
"(Coach Steve Forbes) always told us that rankings don't mean anything," Jackson said. "They're just a ranking. We always have to go out and play hard and we always have to play tough and play as a team. We're going to play hard no matter what the ranking is."
Both NWF St. teams continue Panhandle Conference play this weekend when the Raiders travel to Pensacola State College.
Pensacola State's women's team is currently ranked second in the latest FCSAA Coaches' Poll with a 13-1 overall record while its men enter with a 16-2 mark overall and were ranked No. 4 in the latest FCSAA Coaches' Poll.
The women's game begins at 5:30 p.m. with the men's game to follow at 7:30 p.m.