Scottsdale Community College women’s basketball hopes to start strong again but avoid last year’s obstacles


NEVN photography

The SCC women’s basketball team opens their regular season Nov. 7

Jason Cousineau, Reporter

Last year proved a challenging season for the Scottsdale Community College women’s basketball team.

The lady Artichokes wound up struggling through injuries, as well as momentum stalling outbreaks of COVID-19.

The Artichokes started fast last season, going 7-0 in the Month of November before getting hit with a wave of COVID-19.

“That first COVID stint, we were out 23 to 26 days,” second-year head coach Latasha Washington told Northeast Valley News.

The team battled their way through the season, emerging with the No. 3 seed in the NJCAA tournament, only to be eliminated in the semi-finals by No. 2 Pima Community College.

This season, Washington expects a better outcome than last year’s final record of 14-14.

“I feel like this year, as a whole, we’ve just gotten better in every position, guard-wise and post-wise,” Washington said. “We’ve done some things in the preseason that have helped build the mental toughness, and our kids are very together now.”

The team had a successful start to the preseason on Oct. 8 at the JUCO Jamboree, where they played physical and were well-conditioned.

“This year my guards were really strong the first game and the post was there…but the second game we got what we get in practice,” Washington said. “Everybody was together, they all came with their energy. I was very pleased with where we are, but to be there in October is what I want every year.”

Washington considers defense to be her specialty and fondly refers to her players as “sponges” to her gameplan.

The silver lining of last year’s playoff loss against Pima, was that the Artichoke’s stingy, man defense, forced 14 turnovers and limited Pima shooting to only 23% from the arc and 37% from the field.

With key players like star point guard Faith Diggs and sharpshooter Monique Shim returning to a revamped Artichoke lineup, the stage is set for the women to make a strong bid for their ultimate goal–the NJCAA Championship.

The lady Artichokes open their regular season on Nov. 7.