Cobra basketball teams fighting hard in 2016-17 season

Peter Floess

Staff Writer

Parkland men’s and women’s basketball teams feel like they have potential for a great season this winter, with both teams working to correct any defensive shortcomings and capitalize on their potential.

“We have a ton of potential,” says women’s team shooting guard and sophomore Taylor Jordan. She says the team has not played at its full strength yet, “but we are definitely on our way there.”

Women’s basketball Assistant Coach Bill Dobrik feels the same way about the season as Jordan does.

“We have a unique collection of players this year that gives us great potential to achieve at a high level,” Dobrik said. He says he is “curious and looking forward to seeing how they grow throughout this season and if they have the desire and hunger to reach that potential and be a team that can get back to the national tournament.”

His analysis places this season’s team as being effective on the offense, while perhaps needing some more TLC regarding its defensive abilities.

This year’s team is “probably more dynamic offensively, in the fact that everybody who steps on the floor is capable of being a legitimate scoring weapon, which certainly makes it tougher for opponents to defend,” he said. “However, on the flip side, we don’t yet have quite the same attention to detail and a desire to be great on the defensive end that we had last year that allowed us to come out of close games with a victory.”

Director of Parkland’s athletics, Rod Lovett, says the women’s team could build up a winning streak, even before the winter break begins. He says they tend “to get better as the season progresses and I anticipate the same with this team once everyone gets comfortable with their roles and responsibilities.”

The Parkland men’s team is waging their own campaign toward victory this season.

“Our season is going well right now,” says point guard and sophomore player Terrion Howard.

At the same time, he says the team must work to improve its defense if it intends to fight its way to season victory.

“I believe the sky is the limit for us and I think we could go far if we correct those little [defensive] mistakes.”

Forward shooting guard and sophomore Cornelius McIntosh agrees with Howard.

McIntosh believes the team has a lot of room to improve.

“As a team we are nowhere near our full potential,” McIntosh said. “Although it is still early on in the season, we still have adjustments to make if we want to maximize our potential and go far this season.”

While forward guard and sophomore Grant Gibson feels the same as McIntosh in that his team is always capable of getting better and better, he says he and fellow players make for an already-solid team. He is convinced as long as the team shares the ball and plays better defense, they will have a successful season.

Coach Anthony Figueroa says Cobra men’s basketball is a veteran team with many “leading” players.

“This year our team is mainly sophomores,” Figueroa said. “This year we have a lot of depth and multiple guys capable of leading us each game.”

He is anxious to gauge how the team’s seven returning sophomore players “handle the success we had last year finishing sixth at the national tournament and how they can build on it to be better this year.”

All the games on the schedule are going to be hard-fought, Figueroa predicts.

“As always our region is really good, so all of our conference and region games are so important,” he said.

He urges the Parkland community to grant what he feels much-deserved support to the college’s basketball program.

Lovett, like he believes of the women’s team, anticipates a strong season for the men’s team. As of now, both teams boast positive records for 2016-17.

The rosters, schedules, and season records for both teams can be found online at parkland.edu/athletics under their respective pages on the site. Links to the team’s pages—as well as the pages of Parkland’s other sports teams—are on the left-hand side of the page in a box titled “Cobra Teams.”