AJ Jones '07 of Detroit drives to the basket during a game against Adrian.
For the second year in a row, Alma College boasted the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association’s leading scorer in both men’s and women’s basketball. Sophomore AJ Jones (Detroit/Martin Luther King) led on the men’s side, averaging 22.9 points per game while junior Katey Peacock (Gowen/Greenville) led women’s scorers with a 17.3 points per game average. In the pool, senior Stephanie Druskinis (Wyandotte/Roosevelt) narrowly missed a trip to the NCAA Championships after a strong showing at the MIAA Championships in mid-February.
In his fifth season with the Scots, head coach Ed Kohtala led the team to a 10-15 overall record and a 5-9 mark in conference action. Alma’s fifth place finish in the MIAA race marked the squad’s best finish since 1996-97 when the Maroon and Cream finished tied for fourth with a 5-7 MIAA record and the overall mark is the team’s best since 1997-98 when they went 11-14.
Alma landed two players on All-MIAA teams as sophomore AJ Jones earned first team accolades for the second time in his career while Mark Barnes, a freshman out of Saginaw High, earned second team All-MIAA honors and capped off a stellar freshman season, being named to DIII News’ All-Freshman Team.
On the court, Alma took eventual NCAA national semi-finalist Albion to the wire as the Britons escaped with a narrow one-point victory. The Scots also pushed 2005 NCAA third place finisher Calvin to the end as the Knights pulled out a 55-52 win.
The season was highlighted by Jones’ astounding run to 1,000 career points, becoming Alma’s youngest-ever 1,000-point scorer.
Alma loses senior Jayme Fazi (Hopkins/Northridge, Middlebury, Ind.) to graduation but returns Jones, Barnes, sophomore Isaac Smith (Wheeler/Merrill) who led the Scots with a .429 field goal percentage, Anthony Naylor (Flint/Northern) who averaged 20.8 minutes per game and Carl Hill (Haslett) who helped the Scots as a starter and off the bench throughout the season.
Erica Philp '08 of Ubly goes to the basket against Tri-State University.
Pushed by MIAA scoring leader Katey Peacock, the Scots finished the 2004-05 season 13-11 (7-9 MIAA) and fourth in the conference title race. For the second-straight season, the Scots finished as NCAA Division III leaders in team free throw percentage, hitting 76 percent of shots from the charity stripe.
Alma returns second team All-MIAA selection Erica Philp (Ubly), the only freshman named to the conference’s first or second team. Older sister Darcie Philp (Ubly) transferred to Alma from Ferris State mid-season and will be a strong asset next season. The Scots also have junior Ashley Borcherding (Millington) back at guard after receiving MIAA honorable mention recognition this season. The Maroon and Cream lose honorable mention All-MIAA player Michelle Dettling (Chelsea) and reserves Jesse Rosten (Negaunee) and Mindy Van Damme (Cornell/Gwinn) to graduation but look to youngsters Abigail Way (Fowlerville) and Ashley Matuzak (Saginaw/Nouvel Catholic) to step up next season.
Swimming And Diving
The Scots’ men’s and women’s teams finished the 2004-05 campaign in sixth place in the ultra-competitive MIAA.
On the women’s side, Stephanie Druskinis paced the team, ending her four-year career at Alma with a third place finish in the 100 free at the MIAA Championships with a time of 53.12. She paired that with a time of 24.77 in the 50 free, good for fifth place. Druskinis earned first team All-MIAA honors for her performance, the second time in her career she received the distinction. Brianne Hauser (Monroe) contributed to the team’s finish with a fifth place finish in the 400 individual medley.