Zoie McGhee couldn’t wait to start her college basketball career.
Then, as she learned in the early months of the 2020 Covid-19 shutdown, the waiting game was something she had to adapt to.
“I was alone a lot,” said the North Arkansas College basketball standout sophomore. “You had to find your own motivation. [But] that was when [covid] was really serious. We didn’t go to class. We had classes online and via Zoom.
“This year is really my first year of attending most of the classes.”
McGhee, who recently posted a season-high 11 points in a win against Fort Scott, Kan., is averaging 7.2 points per game in five games. She finished her first full season (2021-22) averaging 4.0 points in the game.
The NCAA granted all student-athletes whose 2020-21 season was affected by the Covid-19 pandemic six years to complete four full seasons in their respective sports. Traditionally there is a five year clock for athletes to play four years.
“My freshman year sucked because we didn’t start until January 22,” McGhee said. “You had to check in [every day] to see who was positive [for covid]. Many of our games have also been cancelled. We did really well last year [22-4].
“This year we tried to continue like that. I think we’re going to have a pretty good year.”
North Ark (4-1) next plays Fort Scott on November 29th.
McGhee, a 2020 Alma graduate, and other Alma High School graduates only received their diplomas at a rare July graduation ceremony held at Citizens Bank Field at Airedale Stadium.
“But it was kind of cool to be on the football field,” she said.
She chose North Ark, a junior college in Harrison, because it felt a lot like high school, she said.
“I chose this school because the coach, Bobby Howard, reminded me of my high school coach [Codey Mann]’ McGhee said. “You could tell he cared about his players. Plus, [North Ark is] near Branson, and my parents can come visit and we can go to Branson.”
No matter how well she’s playing this season, McGhee has decided this will be her last season.
“I wasn’t planning on coming back this year,” she said. “I wanted to go to UCA and do sports medicine, hopefully try to get on with one of the sports teams.”
However, she had a change of heart.
“I’ve practiced and fought with the team and decided I’m not going to give it up just yet,” McGhee said. “[But] Me and my father [Bradley] I’ve been through it and it’s probably for the best thing to work towards in my career.”
As for the game itself, in which she’s improved a lot year after year, McGhee says basketball has a strong bond.
“In high school, it gave me a family,” she said. “All my friends were on the basketball team. Honestly, North Ark is the same size as Alma… so it really wasn’t any different.”
Brewer’s career takes him to Duquesne
Tevin Brewer’s journey from Fort Smith to Pittsburgh, Pa. is long and winding, with stops at Coffeyville, Kan., and University Park, Fla.
How to get from Coffeyville to University Park? Almost as difficult as getting from Fort Smith to Pittsburgh.
The former Northside star, who led the Grizzlies to the 2017 state championship, is completing his fifth year as a varsity basketball player at Duquesne University this season. Brewer played one season at Coffeyville (2017-18) and three more at Florida International (FIU) before being granted a fifth season thanks to Covid-19.
Brewer started all 66 games he appeared in with FIU and scored 760 points (11.5 points per game). He averaged 15.2 points per game in 2021-22 before joining Duquesne.
Brewer scored two points in 14 minutes of play in his Duquesne debut on November 11 against Kentucky.
Henson is pleased with the success of OBU
Former Alma offensive lineman Zac Henson has had a great season for the Ouachita Baptist Tigers football team.
The undefeated and nationally ranked Tigers ended the 2022 season with a thrilling 40-37 overtime win over Henderson State in the November 12 Battle of the Ravine.
OBU (11-0) was ranked #3 in D2Football.com’s most recent Top 25 poll and was scheduled to play against Northwest Missouri State on Saturday.
Henson was named on offense on the All-Great American Conference First Team along with Tiger linemen Anthony Chairez and Hunter Swoboda. Henson, a junior tackle, has helped the OBU’s vaunted running game average 304.6 yards per game.
The Tigers entered Saturday’s competition averaging 44.9 points per game.
Gleason, Emporia State loses a hard hit
A story of three days.
On Nov. 12, Braden Gleason and the Emporia State Hornets’ playoff hopes were dashed when they conceded a 27-21 decision to Northwest Missouri State — ESU’s first loss since falling to No. 4 in the state Pitt on September 24th.
Gleason (Muldrow, Okla.) ran for two points but failed to throw at least a TD pass for the first time since Nov. 19, 2019. He was also intercepted three times.
Then the good news.
Last week, Emporia State (8-3) accepted an offer to play Southeastern Oklahoma State in Texarkana at the Farmers Bank & Trust Live United Bowl on Dec. 3. It is Emporia State’s seventh postseason appearance.
Gleason, who is sixth in the nation on points, eighth in passing and ninth in total offense, was named to the All-MIAA (Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association) second team.
Douglas scores 14 points for Austin Peay
Tiya Douglas scored 14 points in Austin Peay’s 70-61 fight against his Nashville foe Vanderbilt on Thursday night.
The former Northside standout is in her first season with the Governors after transferring from Ole Miss. In 2019-20, Douglas averaged 13.9 points per game at Trinity Valley Community College (Athens, Texas).
At Ole Miss, Douglas’ best game to date was a nine-point performance against New Orleans on December 1, 2021. Against Vanderbilt, Douglas was 6-of-13 from the field (2-of-8 from the 3-point line). ) with eight rebounds.
The talented Douglas led three different high schools to state championships. She helped Fayetteville to a 2017 state title and Owasso, Okla. to a 2018 Frontier state championship before moving to Northside where she helped Rickey Smith’s Lady Bears to a 28-1 record and a state title in 2019.
That same year, Douglas tied the National Junior College Athletic Association record with 13 3-pointers in a 44-point performance for Trinity Valley Community College versus East Texas Baptist.
man goes for 17
Cejay Mann scored a career-high 17 points in the University of Science & Arts of Oklahoma’s 94-87 loss to MidAmerica Nazarene on Nov. 11. However, the Drovers were unable to overcome Nazarene’s 60 percent shooting.
The 6-footer, a former Alma star, was 5-of-7 from the 3-point line and 6-of-8 overall.
Mann earned his first career start for the Drovers on November 14 against Evangel University, going 3-on-6 from the 3-point line.
Mann hit three early buckets to end the Drovers’ 70-68 win over John Brown University on Thursday night with nine points, a steal and a rebound. Mann and USAO tied their overall record 3-3.
Ennis, Harding closes strong
Grant Ennis (Greenwood) launched 7 of 8 PAT kicks during Harding’s 55-10 win over Arkansas Tech on Nov. 12.
The Bison (9-2) finished the Great American Conference game with four straight wins.
Ennis is now 50 of 52 in PAT kicks and first in team scoring (59). For his career, Ennis is now 162 out of 168 on PAT attempts. He had 19 touchbacks this season.
Ennis ranks seventh in school history with 228 points.
Former Southside star Dmitrii Lloyd (Southside) ended his freshman season at Missouri Southern State with six receptions for 62 yards. … Taye Gatewood (Southside) ran for 13 yards with four carries during Arkansas Tech’s 55-10 loss to Harding on Nov. 12. Gatewood also completed a pass. … University of the Ozarks’ Dillon Cheater (Sallisaw) scored 12 points in the team’s 68-51 loss to UAFS on Thursday. … Ozark’s Makya Perryman (Roland) had four assists in the Lady Eagles’ 64-58 win over Austin College on Nov. 15. … Megan Gray (Greenwood) scored eight points, grabbed five rebounds and threw three assists in Hendrix’s 95-50 loss to Arkansas State on Nov. 16. … Hunter Jackson (Ozark) was named to the second-team offensive line of the Great American Conference this week. OBU meets the state of Northwest Missouri this week.