After 25 years of not having a program, Laramie County Community College now has an established women’s basketball team.
The Golden Eagles had their inaugural season last year, where they went 11-17. Head coach Brian Ortmeier is in his second season with the Golden Eagles.
“I was very pleased with how the our program started off versus where we finished the season, getting to double digit wins was a nice surprise and definitely shocked some people,” Ortmeier said.
The team isn’t using their inexperience as a crutch, and are hoping to make the next step to becoming a Region IX contender this season. Ortmeier made some adjustments in the offseason in regards to recruiting and team objectives. Basketball, in general, has transitioned from a more traditional type of play style to a more fast-paced, three point shot heavy type of offense. Ortmeier focused his aim on getting better at controlling the basketball and limiting turnovers while improving their three point capabilities.
“We struggled significantly in those categories last year and the teams near the top of region standings did not,” Ortmeier said.
The Golden Eagles averaged 60.4 points per game last year while shooting 39 percent from the field and 30 percent from three-point range. Ortmeier added that during pre-season workouts, he noticed what hopes to be an upgrade to both point guard play and three point shooting.
“The blueprint we have put in place should make finishing above .500 for the season and winning at least 20 games an attainable goal, if we can do that I think we should be in a great spot to contend for the Region Title,” said Ortmeier, when asked about the upcoming season and the goals that the Golden Eagles hope to achieve.
October is a very important month for college basketball. LCCC will have its first scrimmage on Saturday, Oct. 14 against Johnson & Wales University. Over this month Ortmeier will evaluate his players and develop a game plan for the season. Five sophomores will be returning for their second season.
Madison Hamm from Fort Collins, Colorado, and Caylin Arnold from Strasburg, Colorado, are returning post players from last season who both finished inside the top 15 for scoring and rebounding in Region IX. Morgan Dana, a forward from Afton, Wyoming, will also be back for her second season. Two sophomore guards round out the returning players for the Golden Eagles: Katelyn Smith from Loveland, Colorado, and Darian Hale from Briggsdale, Colorado.
Ten freshmen joined the Golden Eagles for the 2017-18 season and nine of those 10 are guards, due to the emphasis that Ortmeier wanted to place on ball security and three point shooting.
The LCCC women’s basketball team has added a new assistant coach to help out Ortmeier. The new coach is University of Wyoming standout Marquelle Dent. During her career for the Cowgirls, she played point guard and earned two all-conference awards, two Mountain West all-defensive team honors, and scored 1,337 points. Dent also signed a six-month contract with CAB Madeira, a professional team in Portugal.
Ortmeier said that Dent will be able to provide a valuable opinion to the team, especially at the point guard position, as well as providing advice on off court situations and what it was like to play Division I and professionally.
“It’s a different set of eyes and the coaching is coming from someone who has played against some very good competition and played for some very good coaches in her career,” Ortmeier said.
The Golden Eagles will begin the 2017-18 season against the Northwest College Trappers on Nov. 2 at the LCCC Recreation and Athletics Complex.