Collins ready to lead Lady Busters in regionals

2/28/2014

By J. LEVI BURNFIN

By J. LEVI BURNFIN

lburnfin@gctelegram.com

When Shauqunna Collins was 3 years old, her father, Baron, gave her a basketball and told her to "go do something with it."

The sophomore point guard for the Lady Broncbusters has carried that bit of advice her entire life as her basketball skills have brought her to Garden City Community College and a home first-round regional game on Saturday.

"Just see what you can do," the Saginaw, Mich., native said about what Baron meant when he told her to do something with the basketball. "I think in his mind he felt like I was going to be a pretty good basketball player because I always played with a ball when I was little."

The second youngest — and the "baby girl" — of eight children, the 5-foot-5 Collins is used to being smaller than everybody else. Her older brother, Christopher, had her play with his friends as she grew up, and they did not take it easy on her, she said, as they blocked her shots and played physical.

"We don't play fouls when we're at home," Collins joked.

Collins seems to play that same way for the Lady Busters, without regard for her own well-being, slicing through defenses and 6-foot tall posts with reckless abandon all in the hopes of scoring two points.

"It's happened all my life," Collins said about being doubted because of her diminutive stature. "My dad always told me, 'they'll never know unless you prove it, unless you show it.' I pretty much show it every game.

"I don't care how tall you are, if I need to get to the basket, I'll get to the basket,"

That she has, leading the Lady Busters to a 16-13 overall record and 8-6 in the KJCCC West, leading the team in points per game, 14.3, assists, 3.3 and steals, 2.71, while still grabbing 5.9 rebounds per game as a point guard.

The Busters will need all of that from Collins on Saturday at 1 p.m. in the Perryman Athletic Complex against Labette (16-14, 4-8), as sophomore post Zantaya Davis will miss the game to travel home after her grandfather passed away earlier this week.

"Our depth played well (in Barton)," head coach Nick Salazar said in a telephone interview Thursday. "So, we're going to need them to play incredibly well again in order to advance."

Davis, Collins and Sandra Davis were all in foul trouble early against Barton, sitting out a combined 37 minutes in the first half, but the Busters still got the 66-65 win with 32 points combined from Loysha Morris, Allegria Chisom, Tori Spann and Jasmine Christmas.

The Busters are scoring 65.6 points per game as a team, while allowing 63.2. Meanwhile, the Lady Cardinals are scoring 67.4 points per game, and allowing 70.9.

"I think they have a lot of similarity to us," Salazar said. "I think personally, we have better players ... but they look to be athletic. They look to have some kids that can play."

One of those kids is freshman guard Brittany Odom, who scores 11.5 ppg, just behind hybrid guard/forward Holly Ullery's 12.1 ppg.

Salazar said the Lady Cardinals run a primarily man defense, and use some of the same press principles the Lady Busters do in the full court.

"Right now, I feel like we're definitely a better team, but at the same time we're a week away from what turned out to be a hell week (with losses to Pratt and Dodge City)."

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Labette probable starters: So. Iri Nicholas, Fr. Brittany Odom, Fr. Holly Ullery, So. Day Russel, So. Kasey Wellon.

Garden City probable starters:

So. Shauqunna Collins, So. Loysha Morris, So. Allegria Chisom, So. Sandra Davis, So. Jasmine Christmas.

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