The Rough Riders started off the season with high hopes, but early on, couldn't find the win column dropping five of their first seven games. They played just one home game in first 6 weeks of the season, and played without one of their top players in Tagyn Larson. Roosevelt head coach Chris Clark isn't pleased with where his squad sits, but hopes that it will all add-up by seasons end. "We're 8 and 7, which is probably, safe to say, not where we would like to be. But it is what it is. We dealt with some adversity - injuries, sickness, a tough schedule - and we hope all of that adds up to something down the strech," said Clark.
Larson returned to the lineup in mid-January, and the impact was immediately felt. The Riders reeled off a 5 game win streak and have now won 6 of their last 8 games. In addition, Senior Guard Paige Mriden has taken control of the squad and put the Riders on her back. She averages 16 points per game, and leads the team with 33 made triples on the year. "Paige can hit a shot from almost anywhere inside half-court. She has done a fantastic job, especially in Tagan's absence, in picking up her scoring load, but she's gotten better. She's faster, she's quicker, she has got more moves, she is explosive, and she can score a lot of different ways," said Clark.
The Riders score just over 50 points per game as a team, and have 3 girls who average double figures. They are a balanced squad who might be peaking at the right time. Coach Clark knows he has unique group, that could be dangerous come tournament time.
"I do think we have some special players here, they're not thrilled with where we are at right now, which motivates them. I do also think they have a belief they can make some noise," Clark noted.
The Riders have four games left, and will continue action next week vs. Yankton.