Rams find winning ways to rise in MEC standings
SHEPHERDSTOWN – Once Shepherd was languishing near the bottom of the MEC standings. The limp record was only 5-8 overall and winning games had become an elusive task. The conference mark was at a low-tide 2-5.
Then the Rams visited Virginia-Wise in far southwest Virginia and tripped the homestanding Highland Cavaliers, 64-53, to start what became a five-game winning streak when Shepherd downed Fairmont State last weekend in the Butcher Center, 72-64.
In between the victory at Virginia-Wise against its one-time assistant coach Jamie Cluesman and the home court success against Fairmont State, the Rams defeated Notre Dame (82-81), Urbana (78-66) and West Virginia Wesleyan, 92-66.
Five straight wins bubbled the Rams toward the surface of the conference standings. And before this week’s home game against visiting West Liberty, the Rams had jolted their record ahead to 10-8 overall and 7-5 in the conference.
Glenville paced the league with an 11-1 conference record. Close behind the Pioneers were Charleston at 10-2 and Concord, also with a 10-2 record.
West Liberty was 8-4, before seeing Shepherd just the other night. Both Notre Dame and Shepherd were logged in at 7-5 and Virginia-Wise was at 6-6.
Overall, Shepherd had played 12 games at home and six on the road.
Hannah Myers has moved into the starting lineup and now has eight starts.
Senior Kayla Tibbs has lead the Rams in scoring average with a 17.6 norm. Sydney Clayton, the scoring leader for much of the season, now has a 17.3 average and senior point guard Kari Lankford sports a 12.4 average.
Tibbs has made 48.8 percent of her three-point attempts and 85 percent of her free throws. Clayton leads the Rams with 144 rebounds and is making 59.2 percent of her field goal attempts.
Marley McLaughlin has been Shepherd’s other starter.
Before the West Liberty game there were 10 conference games remaining, and then the MEC tournament occurs in early March.
That 2-5 conference record seems a long way back now. Can the Rams continue their new-found winning ways and move even higher in the league standings?