EASTERN WOMEN BEGIN PLAYOFF RUN TONIGHT
It has not been hard to motivate the Eastern Oregon women's basketball team.
"They keep their motivation as far as the situation," Eastern coach Anji Weissenfluh said.
She said they have their sights higher.
"We want to be tournament champions," she said.
The Mountaineers open their playoff run with the Cascade Collegiate Conference Tournament at home at 7 tonight against No. 8 seed Albertson College (8-16 overall, 7-11 in CCC). The game will be broadcast locally on KEOL 91.7 FM.
"If you can't get up for the postseason, something is wrong," Weissenfluh said.
Eastern (23-2, 17-1), ranked No. 17 in the Feb. 17 poll, already locked up the CCC championship and an automatic bid to the NAIA National Tournament in Sioux City, Iowa.
Weissenfluh was named Cascade Collegiate Conference Coach of the Year Monday. Senior point guard Tricia Haddock and junior guard Jamie Jo Cant were named to the all-CCC first team. Senior forward Michelle Kinley was named to the honorable mention list.
Haddock was runner-up in the voting for CCC Player of the Year behind Oregon Tech's standout junior forward Nikki McElligott.
Haddock finished the regular-season as the conference's leading assist maker with just over seven assists per game and averaged 10.4 points per game.
Earlier in the year, Haddock broke the school's career assist record that was previously held by head coach Anji Weissenfluh. Then, last Friday against Western Baptist, Haddock dished out a career-high 13 assists, breaking the single-game assist mark of 12 that was shared between herself, Weissenfluh, and Sarah Wilder.
Haddock was previously named a first team All-Conference selection in 2001-02, during the Mountaineer first-ever conference championship season. She was also named conference Freshman of the Year in 2000-01.
This is Jamie Jo Cant's second consecutive selection to the conference's first team. She was also a runner-up in the Freshman of the Year voting in 2001-02.
Cant leads the team in scoring (12.8 ppg), tied Haddock in steals (48), and tied with Cory Nelson for second in rebounding (4.8 rpg). She also is tops on the Mountaineer roster in field goals (112).
Cant, a junior, has elected to end her collegiate career to concentrate on her final year of a Nursing degree.
If the Cascade Conference had a Sixth-Man (or Woman) of the Year award, Kinley would surely be in the running for it. So the coaches handed her the next best thing, a spot on the All-CCC team as an honorable mention selection.
Kinley leads the Mountaineers off the bench in rebounding with 5.9 rebounds per game and is third in scoring at 9.8 points per game.
Her .481 shooting percentage also ranks third among active players, behind Christy Smith and Candice Davis.
As the coaches were handing out awards, the easiest choice of all was bestowed upon Mountaineer head coach Anji Weissenfluh.
The other nine coaches within the Conference selected Weissenfluh as the CCC Coach of the Year for the second time in three years. In just her fourth year as Eastern Oregon's head basketball coach, Weissenfluh has complied a career record of 65 wins and just 37 losses, for a winning percentage of .635.