Confirming what Archers fans, coaches and players knew from an early point in the 2014-15 season, the NJCAA named sophomore shooting guard Deborah Holcomb to its All-America first team on March 31.
A native of Denton, Tex., Holcomb finished her sophomore season ranked second nationally in scoring with 25.2 points per game.
The year was a spectacular culmination to what was a stellar two-year career at STLCC for Holcomb. She became the first Archers player, and first player in head coach Shelly Ethridge’s career, to eclipse the 1,000-point plateau for her career.
“It’s really impressive, because it’s hard to score 500 points for two seasons,” Ethridge said of her star guard. “I’m just really blessed to be able to coach a player like that.”
Ethridge, who has averaged 20 wins per season in her four years with the Archers, has had many quality players come through her programs at STLCC, but none has performed on the level Holcomb achieved this past winter.
Holcomb, who hopes to play either at the NCAA Division I or Division II level next year, is lauded as much for her drive and work ethic as she has been for her talent. After averaging 16.2 points per game in her freshman year for the Archers, Holcomb elevated her game to become one of the premier shooting guards in the country as a sophomore.
“She’s really driven,” Ethridge said of her prized pupil. “She’s such a competitor and she hates to lose. That’s just the way she is. When you see her get upset on the floor, she’s upset with herself, because she knows she can do something to help the group. She’s just that kind of kid.”
While offense on an Ethridge-coached team is often evenly distributed, there was never a doubt about who the primary scoring threat was for the Archers this year. Only one other player averaged double figures in scoring.
However, Holcomb’s game was far from one-dimensional. She also led the Archers in both steals and rebounds.
In two seasons at STLCC, Holcomb led the Archers to an overall record of 40-15, and two Region XVI championship games.