By Jay Young
Tim Anderson has only been leading Jamestown High School girls basketball since he was brought in by athletic director Ben Drake in 2013 to replace Mark Nugent, but it hasn't taken long for his impact on the team to be felt.
Chrisanna Green is one of the Jamestown Lady Red Raiders’ high-flying juniors.
P-J?photo by Scott Reagle
Since taking on the position of head coach, Anderson has brought JHS nothing but wins with a starting roster largely devoid of seniors. And now his current team is hoping to continue its run into the postseason.
On Wednesday night at Buffalo State, the Lady Red Raiders improved to 19-2 on the year and claimed their second consecutive Section 6 Class AA title with an easy 58-42 win over Williamsville North to move on to the Far West Regionals at Finger Lakes Community College today at 3 p.m.
Unfortunately, Jamestown will now have to take on Gates Chili of Section 5 without Anderson on the sideline. He is eagerly awaiting the birth of his first child.
"This was a surprise and not a surprise, " said assistant coach Ken Ricker who will be taking over the coaching duties. "We knew that Tim's wife, Rachel, was due on Feb. 28 so we knew that this could happen at some time in the (sectional) semifinals or finals. The girls have been with us forever and they understand."
The good news for Jamestown fans is that Ricker is no stranger to coaching in big games. He was with the Lady Red Raiders in their last three trips to the regionals. And the current squad heading to Canandaigua has been playing some of its best basketball of the year in recent games.
"This group is very close, especially the starting juniors,'' Anderson said. ''They have a lot of comradery and play well together; basketball-wise they just have good chemistry.''
While Jamestown's dominant group of juniors still have another year of basketball to improve on, they are not exactly lacking in the experience department.
Anne Campion, Chrisanna Green, Dazjah Coleman and Peyton Butts have spent a lot of time playing together before getting to this point in their careers.
"Those juniors have been with me since fifth grade and played for me 11 months out of the year," mentioned Ricker. "I was lucky enough to coach them at Washington Middle School where all of them became team managers.''
Fellow juniors Kaleisha Mosley and Hannah Pollino also add to the experience of the Lady Red Raiders in addition to senior Maxine Williams, although Pollino has missed the past several games due to injury.
Defense is going to be the key for Jamestown if they hope to advance past today when they face the dominant guard play of Cierra Dillard of Gates Chili.
"She rebounds the ball very well and is their all-around player,'' Anderson said ''I don't know if anyone else on the team averages double-digits. The rest of the girls are more role players.''
Dillard stands at a stout 5-foot-7 and is a dominant scorer. She is currently on track to play for the University of Massachusetts following her explosive high-school career.
See LADY RED RAIDERS, Page B4
From Page B1
The last time Jamestown faced a team sporting Division 1 talent they were not able to move on in the postseason. That was against Shenise Johnson of Rush Henrietta, a McDonald's All-American and current WNBA player who poured in 34 points on the Lady Red Raiders in 2008 regional action.
Ricker remembers that game well and fully understands the challenges of dealing with all-star talent.
"This year we really believe that we have a better shot (than in 2008)," he said.
Even with the prospect of moving on to play for a state championship, the Lady Red Raiders assistant coach is proud of what the team has already accomplished.
"I've always hoped and wanted us to be the best in Western New York and now that we've won our sectional title, everything else is just gravy, " said Ricker. "I'm lucky that I've been in this position before so in that way I'm lucky and very comfortable at the same time. It will be interesting."
While Anderson will be celebrating a new baby, he won't be completely removed from what is happening with the girls at FLCC.
"They told me that the game is going to be on the radio, so hopefully I can listen to it,'' he said. ''Maybe I can give them a call at half time.''.
He added, "I think my team is in good hands. I let the girls know that this could happen based on my wife's due date I have all the confidence in the world in Coach Ricker and the girls. They'll do a good job.''