Outsized? Perhaps. Outworked? Never.

More news about: Randolph-Macon
Sarah Parsons can shoot the 3-pointer or drive to the basket, and has had a lot of success with both.
Randolph-Macon athletics photo 

Sarah Parsons is listed at 5-foot-4 on the Randolph-Macon roster. Because of her height, a lot of people don’t assume the senior guard is a star college basketball player for the Yellow Jackets.

“I run into people who see me on campus and ask if I’m a softball player or a soccer player. They don’t usually think about me being a basketball player,” Parsons said. “But I don’t mind. I never thought of my height as a disadvantage.”

Parsons has certainly played big throughout her career, scoring more than 1,500 points, and is in the midst of another stellar season. She is second on the team in scoring, averaging 16.1 points per game. She has the ability to step beyond the arc and knock down shots and has hit 18 treys on the season and isn’t afraid to drive to the basket either.

“I use my speed to my advantage,” Parsons said. “When I get the ball, I’ll look to drive to the basket first. If I have the lane, I’ll take it. If not, I’ll shoot it from the outside. Being able to do both makes it harder to defend me. And if I’m not open, I know I can get the ball to a teammate.”

Coach Carroll LaHaye said Parsons was asked to step into a different role this season, a role that required her to do more than just be a great scorer.

Parsons has answered the call. This season, she has dished out 29 assists and has tallied 22 steals. She is also pulling down 3.4 rebounds per game.

“Sarah is a very hard worker, on and off the court, and she knows what it takes to be successful,” LaHaye said. “She has a lot of responsibility this season. She has really stepped up to the challenge.”

Parsons was a four-year starter in high school and was ready for the challenge of trying to make a name for herself at the college level. Initially, she wasn’t sure how she would fit in.

“I wasn’t sure what to expect coming into my freshman season,” Parsons said. “We had four seniors on the team, and learned a lot from them. I was able to find my role and, luckily, I fit in well with the team.”

Parsons played in all 26 games her first season, starting seven times, and averaged 14.6 points per game. She also tallied 102 rebounds, 39 assists and 53 steals, earning third-team All-ODAC honors. It was the beginning of a special career. Parsons is now part of a team that has balance on offense and is solid on defense.

Junior guard Hannah Livermon leads the team in scoring, putting up 17.3 points per game, while junior forward Katie Anderson is averaging 13.7 points and 11.2 rebounds per game. Anderson has recorded seven double-doubles. Four other players are averaging at least four points per outing.

The Yellow Jackets average 73.8 points per game and allow 61.2.

“The more weapons you have, the tougher you are to play against,” LaHaye said. “You can’t zero in on one player because we have others that can step up.”

Randolph Macon is hoping to make another run at the ODAC tournament championship after winning it a year ago. The Yellow Jackets also played in the NCAA tournament last year.

They are currently 10-2 overall and 3-1 in the ODAC, sitting in a three-way tie for second.

“It’s a tight race, but I think we can be a team that can take care of business the rest of the way if we play our best,” Parsons said. “We have high expectations and we are on the right track to achieving our goals.”

Tough Terriers

Hiram was unfazed by a second-half deficit against Wittenberg on Saturday. The Terriers rallied from 12 points down and knocked off the Tigers 65-59, ending a three-game losing streak.

Hiram was down 46-34 with just over 13 minutes left before fighting back for the victory. J.J. Woodson led the way, scoring 18 points as he helped Hiram improve to 8-5 overall and to 2-4 in the North Coast Athletic Conference.

Woodson is having a solid season for the Terriers, averaging 18.4 points per game. He made seven of his 10 attempts in the win over the Tigers and is shooting 52 percent on the season. The junior guard out of Cleveland has played in 11 games this year and has scored in double figures all but once, scoring 20 or more five times.

Impact player

Quantashea Lewis turned in a stellar performance for Salem on Saturday in a big Great South Athletic Conference win over rival Agnes Scott.

Lewis scored 10 points and racked up 21 rebounds as she helped propel the Spirits to a 55-47 win in the conference opener for both teams. Salem is 2-9 overall.

Lewis’ effort helped Salem end a seven-game losing streak. The junior forward is the team’s leading scorer, averaging 13.9 points per outing, and she has scored 10 or more points in Salem’s last three games. She is also grabbing 9.8 rebounds per game and has been strong defensively, racking up 22 steals for the Spirits.

Cougars stay on track

Averett stretched its win streak to three with a 71-59 win over Ferrum on the road. The Cougars improved to 8-5 overall and to 2-1 in the USA South Athletic Conference.

Trevor West helped lead the way as he poured in 17 points, drilling all three of his 3-point attempts along the way. West was 5-of-8 from the field overall and dished out five assists as well for the Cougars, who shot 45.5 percent from the floor as a team and made six treys.

West has been key to the Cougars’ success, averaging 11.9 points per game, and he has knocked down 18 3-pointers on the season. Bradley Robinson leads Averett in scoring at 12.7 per game. In Saturday’s win, the Cougars held the Panthers to 33.9 percent shooting from the floor, including a 1-of-10 showing from beyond the arc.

Ringing in the new year right

Heidelberg continued its strong play in 2015, picking up its third consecutive win on Saturday with a 78-77 win over Otterbein. The Student Princes hung on after a desperation 3-pointer was off the mark as time expired.

Heidelberg improved to 6-7 overall and to 4-2 in the Ohio Athletic Conference. Paige Ricketts paved the way as she scored 12 points to along with six rebounds and seven assists. Carli Patrick came through with her ninth double-double of the season, pouring in 12 points and grabbing 10 rebounds.

The Student Princes are on a roll after losing five of their first six games this season. Ricketts is averaging 10.0 points per game while Patrick is averaging 11.2 points and 12.8 rebounds per game.

Johnson makes his mark

Josh Johnson came off the bench and had quite a performance in for Thiel in its 69-49 Presidents’ Athletic Conference win over Westminster on Saturday.

Johnson scored 17 points, including 12 in the second half. He also pulled down five rebounds, dished out four assists, tallied four steals and blocked three shots. His effort helped the Tomcats win their third consecutive game. Thiel is 7-6 overall and 4-1 in the conference.

Johnson has started eight of the 13 games he has played in this season and is averaging 8.8 points and 4.2 rebounds per game. He has also tallied 16 assists and 16 steals.

Still rolling

Aneicia Richardson came through with her third consecutive double-double and Trinity kept its impressive win streak going in a 66-58 Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference win over Dallas on Saturday.

Richardson scored 12 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for the Tigers, who have won 11 consecutive games. Trinity is 11-2 overall and 2-0 in the SCAC.

Hannah Coley also turned in a big performance, pouring in 19 points. She knocked down four 3-pointers and has 173 in her career. She is six shy of becoming the all-time leader in 3-pointers made. Coley also dished out four assists in the win and pushed her career total to 276. She is seven assists away from moving into fourth all-time.


Brian Lester

Brian Lester is a reporter in Findlay, Ohio. He has 14 years of experience at newspapers in Virginia, North Carolina and Ohio, spending the last 10 at The Courier in Findlay. The highlight of his career was covering the University of Findlay men's basketball team's perfect 36-0 run to an NCAA Division II national championship in 2009. During his career, has covered all three levels of the NCAA tourney and has done freelance work for newspapers and web sites. He is a graduate of Eastern Illinois and lives in Ottawa with his wife and daughter.