CUMBERLAND — The Allegany College women’s basketball team tips off its season and Bethany Sindy makes her head coaching debut tonight when the Lady Trojans host Frederick in a Maryland JUCO Conference game at 7 p.m.
Sindy, a graduate and a former player at ACM, returns to Allegany after having started her coaching career at Buckhannon-Upshur (W.Va.) High School, where she was a three-time coach of the year, and also led boys and girls tennis teams to two conference titles and several state tournaments.
During Sindy’s time at Allegany, she had been named student-athlete of the year, best defensive player and was first-team All-Region XX and All-Maryland JUCO in softball. She continued her career at Davis & Elkins College and obtained a Master’s degree last spring from West Virginia University in its athletic coaching program.
Sindy’s staff includes Courtney Crislip, a veteran assistant and former standout at AC herself, and former area standouts Tim Nightengale and Rocky Reed. Both are also AC alumni.
“I am very excited and grateful to be a part of the tradition at Allegany College and want to thank Athletic Director Steve Bazarnic, former Athletic Director Bob Kirk and President Dr. Cynthia Bambara for the opportunity to spearhead the women’s basketball program and embark on this awesome journey that lies ahead.
“Everyday we hope to improve with hard work and dedication to the game. We also want our ladies to focus on their academics first. That is one of our core philosophies. Our goal is to blend the experience with the youth and midseason and tournament time reflects our development, cohesion and execution as we push our women to further develop their talent and passion for the sport.”
This year’s team has two key returning starters in Madison Nightengale and Monique Rhodes, who will be co-captains.
• Nightengale was a former area star and member of the 1,000-point club at Mountain Ridge. The 5-7 guard averaged 14.2 points and was second-team all-conference as a freshman. “Madi is the epitome of hard work and dedication,’’ said Sindy. “She is not only a passionate and competitive player but understands the game very well. She leads by example and with her knock-down shooting ability, ball-handling skills and embedded fundamental defensive principles.”
• Rhodes is a former standout at Woodrow Wilson High in Beckley, W.Va., where she averaged five points, 5.7 rebounds and was named the team’s best defensive player. “Monique is a versatile player who can play inside and out. She has a knack for anticipating on defense and does an excellent job defending the basketball and boxing out. Offensively, we will push for Monique to be more of a threat on the perimeter or in the paint, depending on our opponent’s personnel.
The rest of Sindy’s first team are freshmen, including former local standouts JoJo Carr and Kayla Hutson.
• Carr, a 6-foot center, became the first Calvary Christian Academy player with 1,000 career points and rebounds. She averaged a double-double last year, was named Calvary’s MVP and was co-MVP of the local Maryland-West Virginia all-star game. “JoJo has an outstanding work rate and wants to develop her inside game to be a stronger and more agile player for the college game. She is a great addition and is a very coachable player who works hard and wants to get better every day.”
• Hutson, a 5-4 guard, last year helped lead Fort Hill to area and region championships and a trip to the state tournament. A versatile athlete, she also was All-Area in volleyball at Fort Hill and played on ACM’s volleyball team, which reached the Region XX semifinals, last week. “Kayla brings energy and hustle to the floor and has good mechanics and solid basketball IQ. She will be a nice addition to our perimeter game,” Sindy said.
• Christina Briscoe, is a 5-5 point guard and was a four-year starter at Class 1A runner-up Surrattsville. “Christina is a tough player who has some grit and likes to go to work and compete every day. She will be called upon to maintain the composure on the floor and distribute the basketball.”
• Derica Souder, a 5-4 guard, was the MVP at Largo High last year. “Derica has the ability to score off the dribble and has fluid jump shot. She brings energy to the defensive realm and we will be able to use her as an aggressor for the point of our zone or to face opposing team’s big scoring threats.”
• RaShae Bryant, a 5-5 guard from Baltimore, was a member of Western’s city championship team for three consecutive years. “Shae wants to improve her individual game and her role will be to help handle the pressure on the perimeter and give us fresh minutes to aid us with fresh looks on the defensive end.”
Other team members are Asia Ford, a 5-9 forward from Washington, and Kayla Yates, a 5-4 guard from Waldorf.
“We hope to staple our style of play with non-stop hustle, intensity and hard work every day and polish our systems and refine our skill sets to be the best team collectively we can be,” said Sindy.