By Ray Hamill — After making their long awaited return to the basketball court last week, the College of the Redwoods women are already facing another challenge.
The ongoing wild fires in the state forced the Corsairs to cancel their second practice back on Thursday, and then on Monday it was announced that CalFire may need to use the CR gymnasium this week, which may affect the basketball and volleyball teams’ scheduled sessions.
The good news, on the other hand, is that Tuey has seven eager players signed up for the fall class, all of them apparently excited to be back out on the practice court.
The team is scheduled to participate in conditioning/skills practice sessions twice a week for the fall semester — on Tuesday and Thursday mornings — with COVID-19 restrictions in place, including face masks.
Despite the early setbacks, the team’s one practice was a productive one.
“My main focus right now is to get a lot of skill work in and some conditioning,” head coach Jain Tuey said. “And my biggest goal is to get them back together as a group and get that chemistry going.
“I thought Tuesday went well. I think it’s definitely going to be an adjustment for all of us. It’s going to be a learning curve for me, but I thought the players had a positive attitude. They all seem in good spirits.”
Key returning players
Tuey has four key returning players, including all-state third-team selection Ashley Quigley.
The former Arcata Tiger was sensational in leading the Corsairs to a conference title last winter and was a near unanimous team MVP among her teammates.
Quigley led the team with 17.4 points a game and shot an impressive 37.4 percent from 3-point range.
Also back are Theresa Dickey and Juliana Ortega-Miranda.
Dickey, a former McKinleyville Panther, was named the team’s most improved player a year ago and is expected to play a far bigger role next season, while the multi-talented Ortega-Miranda, a Fortuna graduate, has opted to remain with the program one more season despite completing her academic requirements at the school.
“She wants to finish her second season with us,” Tuey said of Ortega-Miranda, who also was a soccer and softball standout for the Corsairs and will transfer to Humboldt State.
Former Eureka standout Dorshaela Wesson also is back after red-shirting with the team last winter and is expected to have an immediate impact.
Among the newcomers are three local standouts — St. Bernard’s Shelby Jordan and Josie Peterson, and McKinleyville’ Rian Heenan.
Last season’s defensive player of the year, Brianna Green, also is expected back in the spring when she returns to school from her native Florida, and will also compete in track and field.
Currently the community college basketball season is expected to tip off in the new year.