Phil Homeratha doesn’t have much size, and he has precious little depth.
So why is Haskell Indian Nations University’s women’s basketball team the No. 2 seed is this weekend’s Midland College Athletic Conference tournament?
“We’re quick probably more than anything else,” said Homeratha, who has been coaching women’s basketball on the Haskell campus since 1995. “We’re good little athletes.”
Basically, the Fightin’ Indians (15-8) are kleptomaniacs on the court, averaging an eye-catching 11.4 steals. The ringleader is Justina George, a 5-foot-7 junior who averages an MCAC-best 3.4 thefts while contributing 13.7 points.
Homeratha’s other backcourt ballhawks are senior Kortney Smith and sophomore Sharon Forte. Smith is the Indians’ second-leading scorer at 14.7 points a game and ranks No. 12 nationally with 5.1 assists per outing.
“I think Kortney is the best guard in our conference,” Homeratha said.
At the same time, the Indians also have an inside presence in Maria Parker, a 6-foot junior who sat out last season after having a baby.
Parker, a native of Green Bay, Wis., leads the MCAC in scoring at 16.3 points a game, ranks second in blocked shots (1.7) and seventh in rebounds (5.9).
As the No. 2 seed in the tournament, Haskell will meet No. 3 Peru State in a semifinal at 5:30 p.m. today. Ozarks will tangle with No. 4 seed College of St Mary’s in the nightcap.