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Canalside Chronicles

The Student News Site of Canalside Chronicles

Canalside Chronicles

The Student News Site of Canalside Chronicles

Canalside Chronicles

A second chance
May 7, 2024

Golden Eagle’s bouncing back


By: Aiden Locke

BROCKPORT, NY— The Brockport Golden Eagles women’s basketball team is gearing up to
make one final splash in the SUNYAC. Coming off a 12-14 season, where they finished 9-9 in
the SUNYAC, Brockport is looking to take that crucial next step for the program.

Head coach Corinne Jones has been leading the way for the Golden Eagles since 2015 and is going into her ninth season. She holds an overall record of 81 wins, and 101 losses through her first eight seasons at the helm but feels this year could be her’s and the team’s most successful campaign yet.

Corrine Jones addressing her team during a timeout. Photo Credit: Liz Metz Brockport Athletics.

“Team 48, team 48 season,” Jones said “I’m pretty optimistic, we return a second team all-conference player in Zairea Hannah. We return the rookie of the year in Stephanie Jean-Baptiste, so it’s exciting to have a pick and roll tandem coming back on top of a great leadership committee.”

Jean-Baptiste and Hannah were Brockport’s two leading scorers averaging 10.7 and 10.4 points per game each. Bringing those two back is a big reason for the optimism Jones has for the new season.

#1 Stephanie Jean-Baptiste looking for a pass. Photo Credit: Liz Metz Brockport Athletics.

Having leadership, and chemistry is one of the biggest coaching points for Jones and she has multiple leaders she can rely on to carry this team into the new season. Junior guard Shannon Blankenship is one of the first names that comes to Jones’ mind.

“For me, it’s just leadership in general,” Blankenship said. “I wouldn’t say I’m our best scorer,
I’m the best ball handler, but I do lead very well. So just keeping my team in a positive mindset
and making sure that we have the best mentality going into games, in the middle of games and
coming out of wins and losses.”

#11 Shannon Blankenship guarding an opposing player. Photo Credit: Liz Metz Brockport Athletics.

Blankenship averaged 4.3 points per game, shooting 26% from three last season.
This team wants to be a cohesive unit, and they don’t just work on that aspect on the court, but
off the court as well. Junior guard Anna Lee is another leader this Brockport team looks towards
to help the team bond and grow together as athletes, students, and people.

“I think we do a lot together off the court,” Lee said. “We try to emphasize team bonding to build
that chemistry for when we get on the court.

#24 Anna Lee driving past a defender. Photo Credit: Liz Metz Brockport Athletics.

Defense is Jones’ calling card as a coach, but improving the three-point shooting has been a big
focus of Jones and her team as they have been preparing for the upcoming season.

“If you make three-pointers you’re going to play,” Jones said. “They all know they have to guard
but if they can put threes in the basket, I don’t care how tall you are or what you look like, you’re
going to play.”

Brockport struggled against the tougher competition in the SUNYAC last season. Against the
four teams who placed above them in the SUNYAC standings they went 0-8. They lost a mix of
close games and blow outs against the challenging conference competition.

“We have to split against all those teams above us,” Jones said. We have to go 4-4, so getting it
out there in the room is going to help us.”

Brockport’s coaching staff watching the game from the bench. Photo Credit: Liz Metz Brockport Athletics.

The Golden Eagles learned valuable lessons in those contests a year ago and are looking to
bounce back after an up and down year in conference play.

“Last year was definitely a building year,” Lee said. “We’re fortunate to have so many returners come back and we’re able to build off of last year so it’s not like we’re starting fresh and I think we have a great foundation and I’m really excited to see where this team could go.”

As a team Brockport averaged 58.7 points per game while allowing 62.0 points per game. A -3.3
scoring margin on average is a statistic they will want to improve along with their .335 field goal percentage and .252 three-point shot average. Brockport was a young team last year, now with a
more experienced group, natural growth from the experience gained will drive this team toward

Jean-Baptiste attempting an open layup. Photo Credit: Liv Metz Brockport Athletics.

“We’re so close,” Jones said. “I don’t think the Cortland’s, or the New Paltz’s, or the Oneonta`s
think were underdogs but we just have to go get it done now.”

This Golden Eagle team is fired up as they look to depart from the SUNYAC in style, the team is
motivated and ready for their 2023-24 campaign.

“Our biggest focus is coming in and hitting hard this year,” Blankenship said. “It’s our last year in the SUNYAC, so really leaving our mark here and showing that we are a team that needs to be looked at and respected more than we already are and continue to push effort and emphasize the fact that we’re just coming here to play.

Blankenship attempting a layup over a defender. Photo Credit: Liz Metz Brockport Athletics.

Brockport opens their 2023-24 season with an out of conference game against Alfred State. They
will be on the road to face the Pioneers on Tuesday November 14th, with tip off scheduled for 6:00 p.m. Catch all the action from the Brockport Golden Eagles women’s basketball season live on 89.1 The Point

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