Raritan Valley Community College’s Golden Lions family held their 4th Annual Pink Game Feb. 17, which was the last game of the season for women’s basketball. 71 – 30 was the box score.
The Lady Lions suffered heavy losses throughout the season, not just in terms of points, but team membership. They started out with 13 athletes in the pre-season, and came down to six at the Pink Game.
Head coach Zahira Putman and assistant coach Danielle King dealt with a team comprised of both experienced and new athletes. According to the coaches, teaching the fundamental skills of basketball such as dribbling, posting and shooting had to be worked on for at least three months.
“It’s a little upsetting because some of the girls I did spent an amount of time on are no longer here with us,” Coach Putman said. “It’s not fair to the girls who I should have been giving my attention to when I gave it to the other girls in the beginning.”
Six players remain: Ashlyee Alston, Deanna Barbour, Megan Hynes, Morgan Martucci, Morgan Quinn and team captain Victoria Eppler. Although they did not meet their goal for the season—which was to compete in the post season even with a lack of members—their outlook remains positive.
According to the coaches, the Lady Lion’s teetering roster and lack of on-court chemistry are the disadvantages which held them back from their potential. “I just don’t think that our record shows the amount of skill we have on our team. So, it’s really disappointing to hear that people don’t think we are skilled just because of our record,” Eppler said.
One thing though has remained for these young women: the love of the sport. “I played more because I love the sport rather than wanting to win. So, even though we are not winning, I still love it and still want to do it,” Eppler said. “Since I’m captain, I advocate that same belief to the other girls.”
The six players inculcated their coach’s motto of not having any excuses and to turn their “can’ts” into helping each other out. They chose not to bail out by finishing the season together.
“I started out the season even at the end now believing that we can prove everybody wrong. And to me, success is not necessarily what the win or loss column says. Success is how well you continue to strive toward your goals even though people don’t think you’re going to be successful,” Coach Putman said with a smile. “I’m proud of them because we’ve had a tremendously rough season and we’ve lost several girls throughout the entire season. And even though we’re down to six they have played with much intensity as they had in the beginning.”
Just like their previous performance, the Lady Lions played as strong as they could at the Pink Game with what they had.
“Everybody in this team is a key player because without every single one of them that has been here, we wouldn’t have been able to have a team. I appreciate every single one of them for the effort and energy of being here,” Coach King said.
Featured image caption:
Memebers of the women's basketball team at Raritan Valley Community College. From left to right: Assistant coach Danielle King, Morgan Martucci, Morgan Quinn, Victoria Eppler, head coach Zahira Putman, Ashlyee Alston, DeAnna Barbour and Magan Hynes. Photo by Dani Del Rosario