Simmers not taking things for granted [Basketball]
Life is going great for Debbiey Simmers at Malone University in Canton, Ohio.
The junior guard out of Anchorage is starting at guard, averaging double figures in points per game and finding her role on the NCAA D2 team. She’s also been named league player of the week twice and squared off against the nation’s No. 1-ranked team, Ashland, although that didn’t go well.
“Getting beat by over 20 points is never good,” she told me. “A team of Ashland’s caliber is what our coach wants us to be. We need to know what it takes to be the No. 1 team and that is what we are working towards becoming every day.”
With Simmers leading the way, the Pioneers have a good shot.
Simmers, of ACS fame, leads Malone in scoring [12.8] in her first year at the school and has established herself as the go-to player when her team needs instant offense.
She scored 15 of her 19 points after halftime to spark a recent OT win over Ohio Dominican. Four days later she pumped in a season-high 24 points, including 10 free throws, in a victory over Hillsdale.
“I am more comfortable playing now,” she said. “It has taken me awhile to find where I fit in on the team, and what my role is. My coaches and teammates constantly challenge me to be a better player, but I do not want to get comfortable with the way I’m playing because there is always room for improvement.”
Simmers became a regular starter on Jan. 3 and in the nine games since has averaged 15.9 points.
“I would say not starting drove me to push harder,” she said. “Working harder and playing smarter in practice is what builds confidence and in turn leads to success in games.”