Preview: Apache Ladies look to bounce back this season

The Tyler Junior College Apache Ladies will be counting on sophomores Blayke Hemmitt (2), Caitlyn Ramirez (34), Bria Emanuel (30) and Shernise Robinson (3) during the 2013-14 basketball season. (Victor Texcucano | Tyler Morning Telegraph)

With last year in their rearview mirror, the Tyler Junior College Apache Ladies want to return to an elite status.

"We are excited about getting the season started," said TJC coach Trenia Tillis Jones, who is entering her 14th season as head coach of the Apache Ladies. "We want to wash away everything from last year and get a new start."

TJC will do just that Saturday, traveling to Beeville to meet Coastal Bend, which just introduced a women's basketball program. Tipoff is 2 p.m.

Injuries, suspensions and transfers depleted last season's TJC squad, which resulted in an 11-19 record. The Apache Ladies are used to 20 wins in the left column.

"We've got a great group of kids," Jones said. "They are fun and they are a cohesive unit. We're excited about the season."

Three players return from last season, led by top scorer and all-region standout Shernise Robinson, a 5-5 guard from Houston.

Robinson had to play almost every minute last season and Jones feels she will be even better after receiving rest during games.

Also back are 5-10 guard Blayke Hemmitt of Pearland and 6-0 forward Bria Emanuel of Dayton.

"These kids have been through storms," Jones said. "The fact that we are going to get Caitlyn Ramirez (6-1 sophomore from Shawnee, Okla.) on the court from the knee injury helps so much. The other three — Bria, Shernise and Blayke were here; they've got the experience.

"Shernise was all-region and all-conference and she went to the top 40 showcase this summer and had a great tournament."

There are nine freshmen on board this season — 5-7 point guard Malena Washington of Beaumont, 5-3 point guard Victoria Kimokai of Houston, 5-6 shooting guard Katelynn Johnson of Humble, 5-9 wing Amber Driver of Spring, 5-11 forward/center Helen Johnson of Cypress, 5-9 shooting guard Brittny Norris of Dallas, 6-0 forward/wing Jasmine Prophet of Houston, 6-2 center Cynthia N'Dri of Abidjan, Ivory Coast and 5-9 forward Chelsi Watson of Monroe, La.

"We are 6-1 in scrimmages and we played some good teams," Jones said. "I think we are ready to contend."

After Saturday's opener, the Apache Ladies have their home opener Monday against Cisco at Wagstaff Gymnasium. Tipoff is 5:30 p.m.


2013-14 TJC Women's Basketball Schedule

Nov. 2 — at Coastal Bend 2 p.m.

Nov. 4 — Cisco 5:30 p.m.

Nov. 14 — #Arkansas Baptist 6 p.m.

Nov. 15 — #Weatherford 4 p.m.

Nov. 16 — #Collin County 3 p.m.

Nov. 23 — Mountain View 1 p.m.

Nov. 25 — at Cisco 5:30 p.m.

Nov. 29 — ^South Plains noon

Nov. 30 — ^Seminole State noon

Dec. 4 — *San Jacinto 5:30 p.m.

Dec. 7 — *at Paris 4 p.m.

Dec. 11 — *Angelina 5:30 p.m.

Jan. 2 — Arkansas Baptist, 1 p.m.

Jan. 3 — SW Christian 5 p.m.

Jan. 8 — Coastal Bend 5:30 p.m.

Jan. 11 — *at San Jacinto 2 p.m.

Jan. 15 — *at Blinn 5:30 p.m.

Jan. 18 — *at Trinity Valley 2 p.m.

Jan. 22 — *Panola 5:30 p.m.

Jan. 25 — *at Jacksonville 2 p.m.

Jan. 29 — *Bossier Parish 5:30 p.m.

Feb. 1 — *at Angelina 4 p.m.

Feb. 5 — *Kilgore 5:30 p.m.

Feb. 8 — *Trinity Valley 2 p.m.

Feb. 12 — *Blinn 5:30 p.m.

Feb. 15 — *at Panola 2 p.m.

Feb. 19 — *Paris 5:30 p.m.

Feb. 22 — *at Bossier Parish 2 p.m.

Feb. 26 — *Jacksonville 5:30 p.m.

March 1 — *at Kilgore 2 p.m.


#Sleep Inn & Suites Classic, Wagstaff Gymnasium

^Collin County Classic, Plano

+Ozarka Classic, Kilgore

*Region XIV game




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