Coaches like to talk about the “right fit” for their program. And for St. Bonaventure women’s basketball coach Jim Crowley, it was no longer a right fit for three of his players.
Last year’s leading scorer, forward Doris Ortega, and guards CeCe Dixon and Tatiana Wilson were dismissed from the team.
“I wouldn’t say it was mutual,” Crowley said. “Obviously we wish them well. It just didn’t work here.”
Crowley said the players have been released without restriction and can go wherever they want.
All three are from Queens. Ortega and Dixon, who would have been seniors, went to Murry Bergtraum High School in lower Manhattan, while Wilson, who would have been a junior, went to South Shore in Brooklyn.
Last season, Ortega led the 10-19 Bonnies, averaging 12.1 points a game in 27 starts. She was tied for the team lead in rebounds (5.8) and had 71 assists.
Dixon played in 24 games, missing five after being suspended from play for internal team matters. She averaged 8.8 points a game.
Wilson averaged 9.1 minutes a game and appeared in 26 games.
Ortega and Dixon were key components of the Bonnies’ NCAA Sweet 16 run in 2012, when they finished 31-4. Ortega had her first two career double-doubles in the Atlantic 10 championship game against Dayton and in the NCAA second round against Marist.
Dixon made key plays in the team’s first-round overtime win against Florida Gulf Coast. She had 13 points in the Sweet 16 loss to Notre Dame.
With those losses, Bona returns just eight players – senior guard Ashley Zahn and senior forward Chelsea Bowker, who took a medical redshirt last season with an ankle injury, along with six sophomores. Forward Katie Healy (Lancaster) and guards Nyla Rueter and Emily Michael return with significant experience. Sophomores Hannah Little, Kelcie Rombach and Gabby Richmond are also back.
Crowley said the team has responded very well to the loss of the three.
“We’ve gotten some great work ethic and leadership from people,” he said. “They’ve had a solid spring and summer. We lost talent. Over the last two years, we’ve lost a lot of it, but we have good talent here. We’re getting used to each other, to playing together and for each other. Each day we’re a day closer.”