Joined: Sat Nov 12, 2005 9:42 pm Posts: 10516 Location: Santa Barbara, CA
Very proud of the Warrior women tonight, and especially Coach Kirstin Moore.
Many of you may not know what they went through since this time last year.
First, they had the most successful Westmont women's season ever, making it to the quarterfinals. Practically all of the core contributors to the team graduated, except of course for Tooch.
Coach Moore was obviously preparing for motherhood at that point, her and husband Alex's first baby.
Moore was a finalist for the head coaching job at UCSB across town. Word leaked that she got the job, but it was not so. She later said she would have been sorry to go, that she wasn't convinced it was the right move for her. Good thing, as you will see.
Alex went in to surgery early in the summer to deal with a a long standing colitis problem. Things went badly, and he passed away. The Westmont community and her church (and mine) have done the best we can to support her, even those like me who don't know her well personally.
Baby Alexis was born less than 2 months later.
Tooch competed in the Olympics, playing for her native Turkey as the youngest player on the team. She did well and got about 8 minutes a game, her team going 4-2.
Throughout this roller coaster, Moore and her staff put together a fantastic plan for this year, including bringing in Lee and some key freshmen, and preparing Sampson to be a starter.
The season started out great, but they hit some major hurdles in December, losing to lowly Cal Lutheran (d3), and then getting absolutely slaughtered by Westminster (62-29) and Oklahoma City (80-48). At this point I have to confess I was a doubter - although I was really happy they were doing so well under the circumstances. A little perspective here.
They redesigned the offense to be less "Tooch centric", as the losses showed what can happen when Tooch was effectively doubled or tripled.
So then they roll off 16 straight, including sweeps of Vanguard and Masters in conference play. They lost to Vanguard in the GSAC tourney finals, under maddening circumstances. Everyone complains about bad calls; in this circumstance, a ref that Moore had black marked was assigned to the game anyway, and justified the black mark. 'nuff said.
But the Warriors weren't to lose again, as we now know.
Joined: Mon Nov 14, 2005 4:04 pm Posts: 1239 Location: The Southern States
Congrats Westmont. A much deserved championship for the team and Coach Moore. I was glad to shake her hand after the game tonight.
The Lee team that finishes as the runner-up was the best Lee team in history and I couldn't be prouder of how the girls represented themselves this season and in this tournament. They have overcome the adversity of losing players to injury and the assistant coach losing a baby while on team retreat. They battled all season and are perfect examples of what college athletes should be - examples for their school, community, fans, friends, and each other and they are led by a man, coach Marty Rowe, who embodies doing things the right way for the right reasons.
I've enjoyed my time watching NAIA basketball and being on this board. I hoped we would end our NAIA run with a championship, but not having the red banner doesn't mean these ladies aren't already champions.
Thanks Bronto (Rob) and Jason before you for running this community I've been a part of for several years. Go Flames!
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