With eight freshmen on this season's Jacksonville College women's basketball roster, nothing can take the place of actual game experience.
The Lady Jags spent much of last weekend getting used to playing together while taking on a wide array of opponents.
On Friday the Lady Jags scrimmaged a trio of junior college teams that included Southwest Christian, Northeast Oklahoma and Frank Phillips at the Dave Neely Shalin Hoops Showcase in Frisco.
JC head coach Leasa Ailshie then had her ladies to take on a pair of NAIA four-year teams, Texas College's Lady Steers and the Lady Wildcats of Wiley College Saturday in Tyler, for even more experience.
“We beat Texas College and then lost to a real good Wiley team,” Ailshie said. “The game was close and it could have gone either way at the end.
“After playing three games the day before, I was proud of the mental toughness that the team showed Saturday when they physically (tired).”
Ailshie, who is in her first year as head coach of the JC women, said that molding this year's team is a work-in-progress.
“We are very young and we're working with our freshmen on a daily basis on preparing them to play basketball at the college level,” she said. “It's a lot of trial-by-fire, and we are slowly finding out who can do what and what happens when various combinations of players are on the court at the same time.”
Ailshie, who will be assisted by Rocio Medrano this year, said that her club appears to be on schedule in their preparation for the regular season opener scheduled for Nov. 1 (vs. Southern-Shreveport in Panola Classic).
“In some areas we are ahead and in others we are behind,” she said. “We have plenty to work on.”
Ailshie said that she should be able to better chart her team's progress after Saturday when the Lady Jags take on McLennan, Midland and Weatherford in a jamboree that is slated to take place in Carrollton.
“We will be facing three really good teams this weekend, so these games should give us a good idea of how we compare to top-level opponents,” Ailshie said.
Lady Jag returnees include, Devanyar Workman (Reading, PA), Yvonne Maosa (Mansfield, Texas), Allison Moore (Keller, Texas) and Susan Agesen (Eustace, Texas).