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Wallace State women's basketball team added another successful chapter to its history during the 2013-14 season, finishing with a 27-5 record and earning the Alabama Community College Conference (ACCC) North Division regular-season championship.
Wallace State demonstrated early in the season just how special its season could be, winning all eight of its games in December. After Christmas, the Lady Lions dropped only one game in conference play and won its first North Division title under third-year coach Ron Burdette. The Lady Lions finished the regular season a perfect 13-0 on their home floor and won 18 of 19 games overall at one point. All of splendid work in the regular season earned Wallace State a top seed in the conference tournament, where they lost in the semis.
The Lady Lions, who led the conference with 265 3-pointers made, used a balanced scoring attack all season. Five Wallace State players finished with averages of 7.5 points or more. Forward Morgan Smith had an impressive freshman season, finishing with a team-high 11.2 points and adding 5.6 rebounds. Smith was a second All-Region 22 selection and a first-team All-North Division member. Sophomore Morgan Pearson averaged 10.9 points per game and was a first-team All-Region 22 selection.
Sophomore shooting guard Jaylan Snowden was also a key to Wallace State's success in 2013-14, finishing with 8.4 points per game and team highs in assists (139) and steals (4.7). Fellow sophomore Jasmine Coleman finished with 9.6 points and a team-high 233 rebounds (7.5 per game). Both Snowden and Coleman were named to the All-North Division second team.
Brandee Busenlehner, a Locust Fork native, led the conference by shooting 42.2 percent from 3-point territory, and she finished the season with 7.5 ppg, draining a team-high 57 3-pointers. Haven Albright and Ashley Rodgers, both freshmen, were sparkplugs off the bench all season for Wallace State. Albright finished with 6.2 points per game, while Rodgers averaged 5.2. Hannah Sharp and BreAnna Thompson were also key contributors.
Wallace State coach Ron Burdette has established his successful footprint on the program in a short time span. Burdette has compiled a 72-24 record with the Lady Lions in three seasons, earning Coach of the Year honors each season. Burdette was the ACCC North Coach of the Year in both 2014 and 2013 and the 2012 ACCC Coach of the Year. His teams have finished state-runner up twice (2013 and 2012) and third once (2014).
Burdette, a former University of Alabama basketball walk-on, has been part of the Wallace State family for more than a decade, serving as an assistant coach under Larry Slater beginning in 2002, and playing a strong role in the program winning two state championships (2003, 2011). Burdette was also the men's interim head coach during the 2004-05 campaign.
The Wallace State women's program has a winning tradition. The Lady Lions have won six ACCC/Region 22 state championships and have advanced four times to National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division I tournaments. The program last advanced to the national tournament in 2011, when the Lady Lions won four games in four days to earn a championship in Slater's final season.
Wallace State women's basketball has produced more than 110 NCAA Division I players upon transferring and holds claim to a strong collection of NJCAA All-Americans and NJCAA Academic Athletes of Distinction in its history.
Burdette, who lives in Cullman and holds a degree in marketing from Alabama, coached at Monrovia Middle School and Randolph High School in the 1990s, prior to his arrival at Wallace State.
For more information about the program, contact Coach Ron Burdette at 256-352-8350 or email Ron.Burdette@wallacestate.edu.