Quite possibly the greatest positive turnaround in Clermont County sports history may be that of the University of Cincinnati Clermont College’s women’s basketball team. Last year the Cougars lost 27 games and this year’s team won 27 games!
“It was a terrific season, a great turnaround!,” said Mike Mathews, the head coach of the Cougars.
“The 12 freshman have changed this program forever. We’ve had to go out and find players, now the girls and the coaches look for us.”
The Red and Black’s superb season earned them national recognition and a berth in the national championship tournament. The tourney took place at Rehma Bible College in Broken Arrow, Okla., a suburb of Tulsa.
“We had more experience and maturity and overall depth this year,” Mathews said. “We had a lot of pretty good players who gave us good team work.”
Clermont County high school graduates made a big difference in the Cougars' success. Jordan Johnson, a freshman forward and Clermont Northeastern graduate, was noted by her coach as "consistent and dependable" and Darlene Carroll, a sophomore guard and Amelia grad, was noted for being "one of our two best players. . . She is intense and a tremendous person."
Another Clermont Northeastern grad, Dawn Rapp, a freshman guard, was singled out for "playing hard. . . bouncing back from a brain aneurism." Megan Grove, a freshman guard and Goshen High School graduate, was "good off the bench" as were Nicole Bond, a sophomore guard and Amelia grad, and Heather Hale, a freshman guard and a Glen Este grad.
"We're looking forward to next year. Everyone is back," said Mathews.
"I thought we might have played too many games this year. We were held together with adhesive tape at the nationals, but the girls liked playing all those games."
Statistically, Clermont Northeastern graduate Jordan Johnson was the rebounding leader with more than six per game and Reading graduate Katie Ely averaged six per contest. St. Ursula graduate and Clermont County resident Rachel Brewer was the scoring leader netting 12.4 points per game, Ely averaged 9.6, Johnson 9.3, and Amelia graduate Darlene Carroll 8.9.
The Cougars' roster consists of the following: Dawn Rapp (5-foot, 7-inch freshman guard), a graduate of Clermont Northeastern High School; Darlene Carroll (5-7 sophomore guard), a graduate of Amelia High School; Megan Grove (5-6 freshman guard), a graduate of Goshen High School; Heather Hale (5-8 freshman guard), a graduate of Glen Este High School; Jessica McFarland (5-7 freshman forward), a graduate of Goshen High School; Nicole Bond (5-5 sophomore guard), a graduate of Amelia High School; Jordan Johnson (5-10 freshman forward), a graduate of Clermont Northeastern High School; Keisha Woods (5-6 freshman guard), of Deming, Ky.; Allison David (5-5 freshman guard), a graduate of Winton Woods High School; Rachel Brewer (5-8 freshman guard), a graduate of Saint Ursula High School; Katie Ely (5-10 junior forward), a graduate of Reading High School; Taylor Wood (5-9 freshman forward), a graduate of Gallatin County (Ky.) High School; Shqu'ala Walker (6-1 freshman center), a graduate of Finneytown High School; and Amber Hosea (6-0 freshman forward), a graduate of Clark Montessori School.
Matthews' assistant coaches are Dan Dennis, Rick Hosea, and Christina Weiss and Peggy Hager, an associate professor of mathematics at UC Clermont, is the academic advisor.
The following are the results of the Cougars' games:
Asbury (Ky.) College 66-68, Mid-Continent University 69-63, Ohio State University Newark 79-59, University of Akron Wayne 91-32, Miami University Hamilton 86-72, Saint Mary of the Woods 77-73, Miami University Middletown 71-66, Ohio State University Lancaster 75-69, Asbury (Ky.) College 64-69, Alice Lloyd (Ky.) College 71-81, Ohio University Zanesville 74-73, Ohio University Eastern 69-67, Saint Mary of the Woods 78-85, Ohio State University Lima 99-58, Ohio University Eastern 88-76, Ohio University Lancaster 57-60, Ohio State University Marion 99-47, Wright State University Lake 77-37, Ohio State University Newark 74-53, Spalding College 58-80, University of Akron Wayne 78-34, Wright State University Lake 93-40, Miami University Hamilton 75-64, Temple Baptist win by forfeit, Ohio University Chillicothe 73-41, Spalding 51-87, Miami University Middletown 81-55, Ohio University Chillicothe 65-46, Ohio University Zanesvbille 73-77, Ohio State University Marion 75-41, Temple Baptist win by forfeit, and Ohio State University Lima 65-63.
Ohio Regional Campus Conference Tournament
Ohio University Chillicothe 80-71, Ohio University Lancaster 76-72, and Ohio University Zanesville 74-79.
United States Collegiate Athletic Association National Tournament
Briarcliff (N. Y.) College 76-83, Rhema Bible (Ok.) Training Center 57-51, and Lyndon (N. H.) State College 74-79.
Versus Briarcliff, Brewer sank 20 points and David 12. Brewer pulled down seven rebounds and Woods six. Brewer made five assists, and Woods and Ely three. Carroll stole the ball four times.
Opposite Rhema Bible, Ely sank 15 points and Woods 10. Ely grabbed 10 rebounds, Carroll seven, and Rapp and Brewer six each. Carroll had five assists, David four, and Woods and Brewer three apiece. Brewer stole the ball thrice.
Against Lyndon State, Brewer dropped in 18 points, David 12, and Carroll 11. Ely gathered seven rebounds. David had five assists and Carroll three. David stole the b-ball four times, and Carroll and Brewer three each.