Jennies on pace to return to the MIAA championship

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Photo by UCM Photo Services

PHOTOS BY STEVEN SPEARS / MANAGING EDITOR Freshman Megan Skaggs pulls up for a shot against William Jewel on MOnday Dec. 19. The Jennies defeated the Cardinals 70-59 to pick up their tenth consecutive win.

Written by Muleskinner Staff

By JAKE WOERTHER
Sports Editor
(WARRENSBURG, Mo., digitalBURG) — At the conclusion of the Jennies season opener, the scoreboard read Jennies: 65, St. Paul Concordia: 72 and a disappointed Jennies team immediately set out to make adjustments.
“I think losing our first game actually made us stronger,” stated Megan Skaggs. “We told ourselves ‘We cannot get used to losing’.”

PHOTOS BY STEVEN SPEARS / MANAGING EDITOR
Freshman Megan Skaggs pulls up for a shot against William Jewel on MOnday Dec. 19. The Jennies defeated the Cardinals 70-59 to pick up their tenth consecutive win.

In the weeks following their initial loss, the Jennies’ disappointment transformed into excitement as the team went on to win its next 10 consecutive games.
Over the course of those ten games the Jennies’ offense erupted, scoring 70 points in six of the games and scoring 80 points in four of them. Paige Redmond averaged 17.5 points per game, Duffy Ashley averaged 16.6 points and Morgan Fleming averaged 12.4.
While the offense displayed dominance over the course of those games, Coach Slifer claims it was the defense that made their winning streak possible. The Jennies’ defense held their opponents to under 60 points in eight of those games.
The Jennies winning streak is the team’s longest since the its 10-game winning streak since the 2013-2014 season, a season in which the Jennies made an appearance in the MIAA championship.
“I think the odds (of our team returning to the MIAA Championship) are very good,” explained Skaggs. “The team is gelling together, I think stronger we’re stronger than ever.”
Coach Slifer shared Skagg’s enthusiasm regarding a possible return to the MIAA championship. He said the emergence of young talent such as Skaggs and Morgan Flemming along with the development of existing talent such as Paige Redmond make this goal a real possibility.
The 10-game winning streak isn’t the team’s only resemblance to the last time they made it to the MIAA Championship. So far this season, the Jennies have averaged 75.5 points per game, a mere .3 points difference than the 75.8 points they averaged in 2013.
The Jennies are also 37 percent beyond the arc this season, slightly better than their 32 percent during the journey to the championship a few season ago.
The Jennies currently sit in fourth place in the MIAA at 11-2. Pittsburg State leads the conference at 14-1. Central Oklahoma and Emporia occupy the second and third place spots with 13-1 records.
Despite being two games out first, the Jennies still have opportunity to gain ground on their fellow MIAA competitors. 11 of the Jennies’ last 14 games are conference games.
The Jennies have an opportunity to get one step closer to returning to the MIAA Championship this Thursday at 5:30 as they host Northwest Missouri.