The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK


January 20, 2013

Bates igniting Lady Jets' streak

ENID, Okla. — Northern Oklahoma College Enid women’s coach Scott Morris doesn’t hesitate when asked what’s the key to his team’s nine-game winning streak.

He credits sophomore point guard Chelsea Bates for her ability to distribute the ball to either a red-hot outside shooter or inside to All-American Marisha Wallace, an Oklahoma State University signee.

“I can’t say enough good things about her leadership,’’ Morris while the Lady Jets (14-5, 6-1) prepared for tonight’s Oklahoma Collegiate Athletic Conference doubleheader at Murray State (11-6, 5-2). KCRC will air the games.

“She has been the biggest key to our success this year with her ability to handle pressure and get us in our offense.’’

Bates, a starter on last year’s regular-season conference champion, said she’s “matured a lot’’ since her rookie year.

“I have to be a role model for these ladies than younger than me and the girls my age,’’ Bates said. “On the court, I’ve been making better decisions and stepping up to my role as a leader. I’ve felt I’ve grown as a person.’’

The Lady Jets, battling both injuries and a tough schedule, started the season 5-5. The team, which was ranked No. 9 in the preseason national polls, fell out of the rankings.

“I think that made us realize we had to get tougher and a lot better,’’ Bates said. “It was good that we played the tougher teams we haven’t seen before.’’

NOC Enid lost at Redlands 72-57 in the conference opener Nov. 19, but that could have been the turning point of the season.

“That fueled the fire, because everyone felt NOC Enid wasn’t going to be the same as we have been,’’ Bates said. “We wanted to prove to everybody that we’re just as good as the teams who made it to the final four. We have something to prove.’’

The Lady Jets have won nine straight since then, including six league victories. Murray State is a game behind tri-leaders NOC Enid, Eastern and NEO at 5-2.

“We’re coming together,’’ Bates said. “We have played a lot better together. I’m excited about where we’re going to end up.’’

Bates and Wallace, the returning starter, spent the early weeks of the season developing chemistry with the freshmen.

“I felt I had a little leeway last year, because I had the sophomores to guide me,’’ Bates said. “I have a lot more duties now. It’s up to me to run the show and get everyone else in the groove. It’s a big role, but I love it.’’

Bates, who is averaging 9.7 points a game, sees herself as a passer first.

“I’ve been told sometimes that I’m too unselfish and I need to take more responsibility for myself,’’ she said.

Bates hasn’t needed to shoot as much with the development of freshman Kati Sullivan, who had seven threes in a 76-50 win over Connors Thursday and five in the first half in a 84-46 rout of Western last Monday.

“She has really gotten hot,’’ Bates said. “It’s really good for us to have a shooter that you know can get the job done. I try to get her the ball as much as I can.’’

It’s another no-brainer to get the ball to the Wallace inside.

“All I have to do is to get her the ball ,and she’ll get it done for us,’’ Bates said.

Sullivan was slowed by injuries much of the first half. At one point, the Lady Jets had trouble getting enough healthy players to even scrimmage.

The team had a “good bonding experience’’ when they went on a retreat during the holidays.

“It was fun learning about each other,’’ Bates said. “We drew a lot closer during that time. We have been doing a lot of stuff as a team like movie nights. Simple stuff like that helps brings us closer together.’’

Bates, a Thomas native, likes to relax by fishing, primarily on farm ponds near her home.

Bates was used to playing in front of big crowds in sports-mad Thomas. At NOC Enid, especially on the road, she plays in almost empty gyms.

“I feel like I’m used to it now,’’ she said. “The freshmen are always saying there were way more people at my high school games than this. It’s hard, but if you love the game you get excited when there’s one person or thousand people in the stands. I just try to get everyone pumped up. We have to get ourselves enthused.’’

Bates has been thinking some about the four-year college she’ll transfer to after getting her associate’s degree. She is interested in Southwestern Oklahoma State but said she’s “just trying to figure out what school is best for me.’’

Text Only
  • Moving In? Indoor football coming back to Enid?

    Oklahoma City businessman Antwone Taulton and Enid Enforcers manager Mark Timberlake are in the early stages of a plan they hope will see the return of arena football in 2015 to Enid after an absence of more than 10 years. And if things progress as one league executive expects, an official announcement could be forthcoming in the near future.

    July 29, 2014 2 Photos

  • Morris Claiborne Claiborne wants to prove worth to Dallas

    Morris Claiborne had already told reporters he was ready to prove he was worthy of Dallas’ dramatic move up the draft board to get him with the sixth overall pick in 2012. He didn’t waste any time showing some urgency.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Tim Tebow NCAA settles head-injury suit, will change rules

    The NCAA agreed on Tuesday to help athletes with head injuries in a proposed settlement of a class-action lawsuit that college sports’ governing body touted as a major step forward but that critics say doesn’t go nearly far enough.

    July 29, 2014 2 Photos

  • Attorney: OU's Mixon acted in self defense

    The attorney for Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon said the incident that left a 20-year-old female OU student with multiple facial fractures was a case of self-defense.

    July 29, 2014

  • OSU no longer faces APR restrictions

    NCAA officials say Oklahoma State’s football program no longer faces restrictions for the upcoming school year because its Academic Progress Rate has been amended.

    July 29, 2014

  • Radio-TV for 7-30-14

    July 29, 2014

  • Jeff Mullin mug 2012.jpg Rice's punishment hardly fit the crime

    Two games, just over 12 percent of the 16-game regular season. Two games for hitting a woman hard enough to knock her out cold.
    Rice said Monday he will not appeal his suspension, which could wind up costing him $529,411 in fines and salary. And why wouldn’t he? He must feel like he got off scot-free.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • SamBradfordpicturejpeg Bradford used to being at 'career crossroads'

    It’s become a rite of training camp for Sam Bradford.
    Every summer, he deals with the oversized burden of living up to getting picked first overall in 2010. The St. Louis Rams quarterback is not surprised that once again, he’s supposedly at a career crossroads.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • TU wins C-USA academic honor

    The University of Tulsa earned the 2013-14 Conference USA Institutional Excellence award by posting the highest grade point average during the 2013-14 academic year for all student athletes in conference-sponsored athletes, the school announced on Monday.

    July 28, 2014

  • Hixon added to West All-State football team

    July 28, 2014

Click here for NASCAR headlines
Sports Photos

Enid News & Eagle sports photos from the month of February 2014. Enjoy all the ENE photos with full access at