KVCC women's basketball coach Ron Welch gets 400th win in Cougars' 84-44 victory over Jackson
February 20, 2014
on February 15, 2014 at 8:00 PM, updated February 15, 2014 at 8:07 PM
Coach Ron Welch’s team at Kalamazoo Valley have always been team-oriented and the win over a game, but outmatched visiting team from Jackson College was a good example of how effective that can be as they took an early lead and their depth off as the KVCC team rolled the Jets into submission 84-44. The Cougar bench outscored their Jackson counterparts 33-7.
The win was the 400th of Welch's 19-year tenure at KVCC.
The victory also helped the 17th ranked Cougars keep pace with league-leading and No. 7-ranked Lake Michigan, improving their record to 20-4 and 12-1 in the Western Conference.
The local ladies took an early lead and never gave it up, running out to 49-25 lead at the half with a fine display of team work and balanced scoring. “It was a lot of fun to watch us share the ball and find the open player.” Praised Welch. “We didn’t have much to complain about during halftime as a staff. Just a few things to ‘tweak’ at both ends of the floor. We left them with the challenge of being better defensively in the 2nd half, which was going to be tough because we took the press off and forced them into playing solid half-court defense.” Consider the challenge accepted and met as the KVCC team held Jackson to 19 points on 22.6% shooting in the half, while scorching the nets at the other end for a solid 51.9% on 14/27 shots.
“We played to our strengths today I thought.” Said Welch. “And everyone was on the same page defensively. That’s probably the thing that brings me the most pride - our defense.” The Cougar defense turned Jackson over 29 times and held them to 25.4% shooting for the game.
Delton freshman Mallory Sewell led the locals with 16 points. Leading scorer Selena Martinez and Climax Scotts freshman Destiny Froberg each chipped in 13 and Destiny’s twin sister Fallon had 10 as the Valley team placed four in double figures. “We’ve gotten used to Selena scoring for us and she’d kind of been a ‘funk’ the last couple games, but today she was back to her old self.” pointed out Welch. “and Destiny got the start today because she’s been playing really well. I thought she responded well to the challenge...and what can I say about Mallory? She’s battling some physical issues, but when she’s right she’s one of the hardest players in our conference to guard. She looked pretty smooth tonight.”
Welch’s team appears to be rounding into shape and playing well at the right time. According to the Cougar mentor, “Next week’s a pretty important week for us. We go to Lansing for a tough road game on Wednesday, then - if we take care of business on Wednesday - have the opportunity on Saturday to even the score with Lake Michigan. Both of those games should be great games.” If the Cougars win out they will gain at least a share of the conference title for the 5th year in a row.
Kalamazoo Valley and Lake Michigan have distanced themselves from the rest of the league and turned the race for the conference crown into a two team race. LMC is 13-0, with the Cougars a game back at 12-1. Both teams have qualified for the District ‘G’ regional tournament regardless of the outcome of the league race.
KVCC's Bre Birmingham Named Third Team All American
April 13, 2013
Kalamazoo, Michigan April 13, 2013
Although her season with the Cougars didn’t end on a great note, Kalamazoo Valley Sophomore Breanna Birmingham has had a good week.
In addition to being named MCCAA Western Conference first team, All MCCAA and NJCAA Region XII All Region; Coach Ron Welch announced at the Lady Cougar basketball banquet that Birmingham had been named to the NJCAA Division II All American third team. She becomes the fourth All American player during Welch’s eighteen years at the Texas Township college.
“We’re very proud of what Bre has accomplished here at Kalamazoo Valley.” Praised Coach Welch. “She was an eager student of the game and was willing to ‘buy into’ the way we do things here. We couldn’t be happier for her!”
Birmingham contributed heavily to the Cougars winning their third straight Western Conference Championship and a 24-5 overall record; 14-2 in the conference. She averaged 12.1 points, 6.6 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.2 steals per game for the Cougars, shooting a very solid 54.6% from the field for the year.
Shortly after receiving word of the high honors from the NJCAA, Birmingham made her commitment to the school she will be playing for next year; University of Incarnate Word in San Antonio, Texas. “Bre visited down there the first week of April and absolutely loved the campus and the coaching staff.” Said Welch. “They are a program in transition, having been a strong NCAA Division II school, but beginning a new journey next year entering the Southland Conference as a new Division I member, playing against such schools as Oral Roberts, Lamar, Nichols State and McNeese State. They are excited about having her join them and expectations are high. I’m sure she will not disappoint.”
Tina Thurber records triple double in Cougars' OT win over Jackson, 100-95
January 23, 2013
KALAMAZOO, MI -- The track meet that is the Kalamazoo Valley – Jackson CC women’s basketball game every time they play ran a little extra ‘distance’ Saturday at Cougar Arena. It turns out the Cougars were the ones with a little ‘sprint’ left at the end, as they out scored the Jets 16-11 in overtime for a 100-95 win.
The 7th ranked Cougars moved their record to 15-1 and 6-0 in the Western Conference. Jackson falls to 9-9 and 3-2 in conference play.
“You can almost throw everything you normally do as a team out the window when you play Jackson,” said an emotionally and physically drained KVCC coach Ron Welch. “It almost becomes more of a game of wills. If you’d have told me we would turn it over 42 times, shoot less than 50 percent from the free throw line and foul them enough so they score 25 free throw points before the game, I would have told you we’d get beat. But we found a way to win and I’m really proud of the way the girls battled.”
The way they did it was by shooting well from the floor (48.1 percent), holding the Jets to 22.2 percent from behind the arc, and garnering a new school record 89 rebounds. The Cougars had four players with double digit rebounds, led by point guard Tina Thurber with 12, Roni Hayden and Lauren Leonard with 11 and Jackie Devereaux with 10.
But the stat line of the night belonged to Thurber. The East Kentwood freshman recorded only the second triple double in the tradition-rich history of the Lady Cougars with 25 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists.
"Pretty special night for Tina," praised Welch. "She was forced to stay out there for extended minutes because of some foul problems, took the reins and led us. After the game I told her that now that I know she can do that, I expect it every game. She laughed."
Joining Thurber in double figures was a foul plagued Bre Birmingham with 14 points, with Roni Hayden and Molly Sleeman both tossing in 12. Chazsi Beckman and Selena Martinez added 9 each.
Jennifer Lofts breaks ten year old scoring record at Kalamazoo Valley
February 26, 2012
With the tradition of playing large numbers of players in game situations and spreading minutes among a lot of people. there was a lot of doubt in Coach Ron Welch's mind as to whether Danaea Williams 35 point explosion in the 2002 National tournament against Northwest Shoals would ever be broken as the KVCC single game scoring record. "We have had some players that probably could have approached that number, but the way we spread the minutes, plus the philosophy that we see no reason to embaress anyone by the final score tends to not offer that many opportunities." Explained Cougar Coach Ron Welch. "We believe strongly that those minutes after the outcome has been decided should be used to get valuable game experience for the younger players. That philosophy has served us well over the years."
That being said, Lofts 37 point explosion against the Jackson Jets was accomplished in just 27 minutes of playing time. The sophomore forward was almost perfect on the night, going 14/18 from the field and 9/11 from the charity stripe for her 37 points. Lofts, who's shooting 36% from three for the year did not attempt a three point shot. As if that was not enough, she gathered 13 rebounds, dished out 4 assists, had 4 blocks and 1 steal as her team outscored the high scoring Jets 124-104.
"Pretty special night for a special player." said Coach Welch, who is in his 17th year at Kalamazoo Valley. "Jen's such an unselfish player. She's not about individual records or accolades. The team success is formost in her mind and she is one of the hardest workers on a team that has a great team work ethic. Her teammates and our coaching staff are really pleased for her because of that. She brings it every day."
Matt Dennis Replaces Retiring Kalamazoo Valley Men's Basketball Coach
April 22, 2011
Matt Dennis Named Head Men’s Basketball Coach at KVCC
News Release April 21, 2011
Matt Dennis has been named Head Men’s Basketball Coach at Kalamazoo Valley Community College, replacing long-time coach Dick Shilts. Matt played his collegiate basketball at KVCC in the 2001-03 seasons, after which he was hired to be the Assistant Men’s Basketball Coach, a position he held for five years under Coach Shilts.
Matt has taught First Aid and Cardio for Fitness classes at KVCC, and he became a Student Success Advocate in KVCC’s highly-acclaimed Student Success Center in 2008. Later that year, Matt was promoted to a full-time job as KVCC Admissions Representative, and after serving in this recruiting capacity for more than two years, he moved to Kalamazoo Central High School to work with at-risk youth in KPS’s innovative Extended Thinking Center.
Matt has an Associate of Arts Degree from Kalamazoo Valley Community College and a Bachelor’s Degree in Health Education/Speech Communications from Western Michigan University. He is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from the University of Texas Arlington.
Matt played for Charlevoix High School, started college at Cornerstone University before coming to KVCC, and returned to help his high school coach Keith Haske take the Rayders to the MHSAA Class C Championship Game against Kalamazoo Christian in 2001.
Matt directed his own summer basketball camps, Basketball Minds, in Northern Michigan from 2000-06. He is the husband of former KVCC volleyball standout, Adrienne Jager, and they are proud parents of Olivia, 4, and Wyatt, 1.
"We had several quality candidates for this position, but are pleased that Matt has rejoined our staff at KVCC. He is familiar with many important aspects of KVCC, and has been successful as a college representative and recruiter during his tenure here. He is a knowledgeable basketball coach who is ready for this challenge," said Athletic Director Dick Shilts.
Photo: Matt Dennis
To view article in Kalamazoo Gazette, April 21, 2011, click on the link below
For more information contact Dick Shilts, 269-488-4393 or firstname.lastname@example.org.