As Three Rivers neared its season-opener in January, coach Alex Wiggs thought about the game, his team, if they were prepared and said, “I guess we’ll find out together.”
An unprecedented start under unprecedented circumstances led to an unprecedented season for Three Rivers.
It was the first undefeated regular season in program history, and the first time the Raiders had reached the final four.
Three Rivers’ four returning sophomores in Chaylea Mosby, Autumn Dodd, Myia Yelder, and Jamiyah Thomas have gone 50-7 in their Three Rivers careers.
Mosby, a Dexter alumna, was named Region XVI Player of the Year after coming off the bench as a freshman.
“I’ve grown as a player, I’ve definitely gotten better at shooting and everything, but I’ve grown and matured along the way. It has just been great,” Mosby said.
Mosby averaged 13.6 points on 43.7% shooting and 38.9% on 3-pointers. She was second on the team in rebounding with six per game, including 2.2 offensive rebounds, to go with 3 assists and 2.7 steals per game.
She scored a season-high 28 points in the Raiders’ second game of the season against John A. Logan.
Point guard Myia Yelder started all but one game in her Three Rivers career.
“The last two years have been great. The first one, playing under coach (Jeff) Walk, that’s probably one of the most extravagant, funniest coaches I’ve ever played for,” Yelder said. “He’s a great coach. And then, playing under coach Wiggs, we have a tight bond. It’s just been great. He always tells me he believes in me and pulls me out of the ditch when I get caught in there. He’s always been one of my biggest supporters. I know as a coach he should be. he doesn’t have to be, but he is.”
After averaging 3.6 points and 3.2 assists as a freshman, she got 14.2 points, 4.2 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 3.1 steals as a sophomore.
She scored more than 20 points five times this season, and the only time she didn’t play 20 minutes was in a 103-37 blowout of Jefferson in the Region XVI quarterfinals.
Autumn Dodd was still recovering from an ACL tear at the end of her freshman season. As a sophomore, she was a 150-pound wrecking ball off the bench. She averaged 10.4 points, 3.3 rebounds, 2.0 steals and 1.7 assists.
She was often a ball of energy off the bench and shot 14 for 24 overall and 7 for 13 on 3-pointers in the national tournament.
After a gutsy performance in the opening game of the national tournament, Thomas was held out of the second-round game against Casper with an injured knee.
In the quarterfinals, she went 5 for 10 shooting and 8 for 8 on free throws for a team-high 18 points, then struggled to put weight on her leg as she limped to the bus.
Thomas led the Raiders with a 52.6% shooting percentage and averaged 8 points and 3.5 rebounds.
While all players have the option to return under the COVID-19 exemption, Three Rivers’ top four scorers were sophomores.
Freshman Karlee Holland, who had shoulder surgery in the preseason and was activated in time for the regular-season finale, led the freshmen with 8.7 points across seven games.
Joi Montgomery, who led the team with 14 points, 15 rebounds, three assists, three steals, and nine drawn fouls in the NJCAA semifinals, started 22 games and averaged 8.3 points and 7.3 rebounds.
Scott Borkgren - Daily American Republic