Women’s Basketball Fight Their Way Into States

Playing during a game.
DRIVING PAST: Lady Sharks forward Smiljana Cuk drives against an opponent from Indian River Community College. The Lady Sharks lost their regular season closer, 79-63, on Feb. 19, at Kendall Campus, but will extend their season into March during the FCCAA state tournament from March 2 to 5.

The Miami Dade College women’s basketball team has clinched a spot in the Florida Community College Athletic Association state championship tournament to be held on March 2 to 5 in Marianna, Fla.

The Lady Sharks started the season with a 2-10 record, but fought back to get into contention for the state tournament. The team ended the regular season with a loss to Indian River Community College, on Feb. 19, but secured their spot in the tournament with a 71-64 playoff win against Brevard Community College on Feb. 22, to finish the season (12-14) and (6-3) in the Southern Conference.

“We feel great about it, “said Lady Sharks Head Coach Susan Summons. “The journey started rocky but with a tough schedule, you take the bumps and bruises. That’s how you learn to play as a team.”

Sophomore forward Kandis Frederick credits her team’s desire to make it to states.

“Our point guards (Tory) Stephens and (Melanie) Ducott did a great job keeping us together on the court,” Frederick said. “No one was lazy and there wasn’t any attitude; we listened to our coach.”

The Lady Sharks will try to continue taking their Cinderella story into states.

“We made it a goal to start a new season once the Southern Conference games started,” Ducott said. “Our team has to continue playing good defense, hustle and play together.”

Hector Gonzalez

Hector Gonzalez, 33, is returning to Miami Dade College where he will be pursuing a Bachelor of Applied Science degree in Film at the North Campus. He will serve as a photographer and staff writer for the paper this year. Gonzalez obtained his Associate Degree in Mass Communications during the 2011-2012 school year while serving as Sports Editor for The Reporter. He earned the Best Sports Story award from the Florida College System Activities Association in 2011. He has also worked as freelance sports writer for the South Florida Sun Sentinel and the Miami Herald.