This archived article was written by: Sam McGinnis
The holiday break was a successful one for the College of Eastern Utah women’s basketball team.
The women played four games, against two nationally ranked teams, and the other two against CSI. The Lady Eagles were victorious three out of the four.
On December 29, 2003, the Lady Eagles traveled to Las Vegas to compete against the number three nationally ranked team Seward County Community College.
This season, SCC was 12-0, and spectators claimed that the Lady Eagles didn’t even have a chance against them, but the Lady Eagles proved them all wrong.
When they hit the court they showed intensity and focus that could beat anyone. They pulled off the win by eight points leaving the final score 79-71.
“This was our biggest win in the program,” commented women’s basketball coach, Dave Paur.
Although basketball is a team sport, three women dominated the court in Las Vegas. They were Cassie and Chelsey Warburton, and Lindsey Arnoldus.
Chelsey Warburton led the women, connecting on 6-10 FG, including 4-6 from the three point line.
Cassie wasn’t too far behind with 6-16 FG and 3-7 3-point FG. As a team, the women shot at 42.4%.
Coach Paur explained that if the team can shoot over 30%, he feels that they will be able to win against any competitor they come across.
His theory was proven when the Lady Eagles played against the Yavapai Rough Riders, who were ranked in the top 25 nationally until CEU beat them in Las Vegas on December 30th.
This game seemed as if it were a little bit rougher for the women to pull off than the last game, because they only won the game against Yavapai by two points. The final score of the game was 68-66.
Again the same three players, the Warburton sisters and Lindsey Arnoldus, took control of the court and made this win possible.
It was as if it was a repeat from the night before because Chelsey Warburton led in points again, followed by Cassie Warburton and then Arnoldus.
As Coach Paur usually says, “It is a team effort,” but the fact is that if the Warburton sisters and Arnoldus weren’t playing at the top of their games, this outcome could have been a slightly different.
After two wins under their belt, the team was on top of the world. This was a huge weekend that came through in their favor, until the ride home.
Coming back from Las Vegas, the CEU bus broke down. This delayed the women from getting back to Price until the following day.
The day they arrived back in Price, they had to suit up again and play against CSI. CSI was ranked 15th nationally going into the double-header against the Eagles, and it showed in their skills on the court.
However, after winning two big matches in a row, the Lady Eagles were confident enough to pull off the win, but did, just barely. This was an extremely challenging match for the Lady Eagles because, with just seven minutes left in the game, they were losing by 22 points.
The Lady Eagles fought their hardest and regained the lead to win the match 62-60.
It seemed as if the whole team was on top of their game, which truly made this win a complete team effort.
They only shot 31.1% as a team, but Coach Paur’s prediction held true. The defense also helped out, holding CSI to shooting under 30%.
Coming into game two the next day against CSI wasn’t as successful as the first match.
The Lady Eagles again played hard, but they still were not able to pull off another win. CSI got it together, and beat CEU by three points. Returning back to what coach Paur said, if they shoot above 30%, then the Lady Eagles could pull off the win, but they only shot 27.3%.
Coach Paur said, “I think that the weekend took its toll on the women, because they played against two huge teams and won; then they came home to compete against CSI, and won the first match, but by the second match, I think that they were exhausted.”
The Lady Eagles now only have 12 league games left, and they start off against Snow College. So the road to victory won’t get any easier any time soon commented Paur.
As of right now, CEU is ranked second in the Scenic West Conference, trailing the College of Souther Idaho by one game. They hope to stay focused so that they can finish the season on top of the rankings.
“As long as we stay confident and focused, but not cocky, I think that we could finish the season extremely well,” said Coach Paur.