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Nationally ranked foes await Eastern Florida women's basketball
Nov. 6, 2013 - Coming off a split of its season-opening games Eastern Florida State College's women's basketball team heads to Marianna, FL for the three-day girlsbasketballreport.com tournament where it will play three games, two against teams ranked in the top 10 nationally.
On the surface that might sound intimidating for a team rebuilding from a 3-27 season but head coach Jim Grimes and his players are heading north with anticipation.
Eastern Florida plays fourth-ranked and host Chipola College at 9 p.m. Eastern on Thursday in Chipola's season opener, defending state and NJCAA Region 8 champion Gulf Coast State College (2-0) at 7 p.m. Eastern on Friday and 10th-ranked Darton State College (2-0) at 3 p.m. Eastern on Saturday.
"I am very excited about this tournament because we will be playing against some the of the best teams in the country," Grimes said. "We don't talk a lot about results, winning and losing, so I have no expectations there. We do talk a lot about our process, and that will be our focus this week. I expect the players to compete and give a great effort. This will be a great learning experience for all of us."
Chipola finished as the Florida College System Activities Association state tournament/Region 8 runner-up last season and advanced to the NJCAA Women's National Championship Tournament along with Gulf Coast State.
Grimes will be looking for freshmen guards Jessica Doyle (5 feet, 6 inches), ranked fifth nationally in scoring (46 points) and ninth in points per game (23) after two games and 5-7 Rhaven Kemp (8.5 points per game) to set the tone in the background and freshmen 5-9 Rachelle Aupont (16.5 ppg, 9.5 rebounds per game) 6-0 Kristina Bugarski (10.5 ppg, 7 rpg) and 5-8 sophomore Tomoriya Hamm (9.5 ppg, 8 rpg) to be forces in the frontcourt.
"I am pleased with our progress," Grimes said. "Our goal is to get better every day. Hopefully we can continue to work hard."
As for next week's home opener on Tuesday night: " I think we are all very excited about playing in front of our fans. We have done a lot of traveling so it will be nice to be home."