Archive for Sunday, March 7, 1999


March 7, 1999


In the parking lot, car horns blasted in celebration.

Inside Coffin Sports Complex, the floor was littered with streamers, confetti, and what seemed like most of the standing room only crowd that watched Haskell's women's basketball team beat Redlands (Okla.) CC, 93-83, on Saturday.

They celebrated for a reason. The victory secured the school's first ever spot in the NJCAA Div. II championships in Hagerstown, Md.

HINU coach Phil Homeratha savored the moment.

"Woo, I tell you, it's been a long time coming," he said. "I'm just happy for the kids, the school and the fans. For me, it fulfills a need as a coach. Haskell's my school."

This is Homeratha's fourth year as women's basketball coach, and 28th at Haskell. He's served as head coach for the school's football, wrestling and track teams, and before that was the acting chair for the humanities division.

"And I went to school here when it was a vocational high school," the 1960 Haskell Institute graduate said. "Lawrence is my home. Haskell is my home."

Homeratha had just watched Haskell (26-1) beat Redlands (17-14) for the fourth time this year. The Indians played an in-your-face pressure defense that forced 27 turnovers.

Haskell's Robin Shield scored 36 points on 8-for-16 shooting from the field and 17-for-18 shooting from the free-throw line.

Eve Robichaud (15), Marinda Lamon (13) and Devon Townsend (12) also reached double-digit scoring.

Haskell and Redlands combined to shoot 86 free throws. Haskell connected on 40 of 48 tries (83 percent). A total of 55 fouls were called and seven players fouled out.

Shield, the tourney most valuable player, and Robichaud were named to the all-District VI team.

"The fun of athletics is when you watch things happen the way you want them to happen, and this was fun tonight," Homeratha said. "To see young athletes, Indian athletes, who you recruit and bring in ... to share that with my people and to see the gym like this, wow. You talk about feeling humbled, this is it."

Shield, holding her 2-year-old daughter, Jolona, was thrilled with the national berth.

"I'm really excited," she said. "But we need to not get too excited because there's more work to be done."

That work will begin on Monday. Homeratha will give his players today off before preparation for the national tournament, which will begin March 17.

"They've had fun," Homeratha said. "This really brings our students together."

Despite its record, Haskell will be seeded last in the 12-team playoff.

HINU leaves for Maryland on March 15.

"Some of the kids have never flown," he said. "And some of them have never seen Washington D.C., so everything's educational."

Haskell 93, Redlands CC 83


Sommer Bufford 6-18 3-3 19, Jana Shelhope 6-8 8-10 20, Daneisha Allen 2-3 0-0 5, Candace Varnedoe 2-8 7-9 11, Tara Fincham 0-5 0-2 0, Callie Morrison 2-2 1-1 5, Jennifer Winfrey 5-6 8-11 18, Ashley Murphree 1-6 2-2 5. Totals 24-56 29-38 83.


Devon Townsend 4-12 3-6 12, Robin Shield 8-16 17-18 36, Melissa Mossett 0-0 4-4 4, Marinda Lamon 3-9 6-6 13, Eve Robichaud 7-12 1-1 15, Toni Stanger 2-4 4-4 8, Shelby Palmer 0-3 1-2 1, Tammy Hammer 0-1 2-2 2, Quindy Whiteman 0-1 0-0 0, Louann Benslow 0-1 1-2 1, Shauna Hurst 0-0 1-2 1, Mitzi Horn 0-4 0-1 0. Totals 24-65 40-48 93.

Redlands 38 45 -- 83

Haskell 46 47 -- 93

Three-point goals -- Redlands 6-21 (Bufford 4-14, Allen 1-1, Finchum 0-3, Murphree 1-3) Haskell 5-21 (Townsend 1-6, Shield 3-10, Lamon 1-1, Robichaud 0-1, Stanger 0-1, Hammer 0-1, Benslow 0-1) Total fouls -- Redlands 30, Haskell 25. Fouled out -- Bufford, Allen, Morrison, Winfrey, Robichaud, Stanger, Horn. Turnovers -- Redlands 27, Haskell 13.

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