Andrew Walker

Guilford College women's basketball team poses with the ODAC championship trophy after beating Lynchburg College 59-53. Photo By Andrew Walker 2017

The Guilford women’s basketball team also made it to the NCAA tournament but lost in the first round. In the ODAC tournament, the Quakers easily got by Washington & Lee University and Emory & Henry College to face Lynchburg College for an ODAC title. The team got an automatic bid thanks to a comeback victory over the Hornets in the ODAC title game, 59-53. Last year, Guilford lost to Lynchburg in the title game.

The Quakers started off slow against the Lynchburg scoring only 17 points in the first half and allowing 28 points. Senior forwards Anais Weatherly and Heaven Walters each had four points at half.

“(At half), every coach contributed to try to say something that would get them to be back to getting some confidence to go back out there and win the game,” said head coach Stephanie Flamini. “It seemed to piss them off a little bit and they seemed to come out with an attitude. A good attitude (which showed that) they were mad and wanted to win.”

The Quakers came out on fire in the third quarter and scored more points in the quarter than they did in the entire first half.  Senior guard Amy Steller scored eight points in the quarter and junior guard Lauren Ramsey added seven.

“I didn’t want to lose, “said Steller. “I didn’t want to end my career just yet and knowing that feeling last year of losing a championship. It’s something special to go out with an ODAC championship.”

Guilford started the fourth quarter on a run and took the lead for good. The Quakers sealed the ODAC title with making seven of eight free throws down the stretch. This was the Quakers’ fifth ODAC title. Weatherly was named the ODAC Tournament Most Outstanding Player and Steller and Ramsey were also on the all-tournament team.

Guilford was chosen to host the two first round games and a second-round game of the NCAA tournament.

“It’s good that we get to go to class and sleep in our own bed and not have to be stressed out about that,” said Flamini. “Just being on our home court and having the seniors get to play here one more time and having their families being able to see them play.”

Guilford played Marymount University in the first round. After one quarter the Quakers were up by three but at half they were down 50-27, as Guilford could not recover from an abysmal second quarter.  Steller led the team with 8 points at half as they struggled shooting. The Quakers shot 31 percent and Marymount shot a blazing 67 percent with 33 points in the second quarter.

The third quarter was low scoring, and the Quakers only cut the lead down to 22 points going into the fourth quarter. Guilford made a furious comeback and got within one point, but fell short. Steller scored 18 points in the quarter, including two three pointers and eight of eight from the free-throw line. The Quakers were down 66-65, but a three-point play from the Saints’ forward Nicole Viscuso put them up four with 35 seconds remaining. Steller hit a three with four seconds left to get within two, but two made free throws sealed the Quakers’ fate. Guilford fell 74-70 to end their season on a sour note.

The Quakers will lose five players to graduation including four starters. The only starter that will not graduate is Ramsey.

The Quakers’ basketball teams had a tremendous season this year and will look to defend the ODAC titles and build on their success next year.