Contreras' Value Rising At USD

Raeshel Contreras IntroMore than 1,700 miles from her native San Francisco, Raeshel Contreras says she still feels right at home.

“When I saw the team, the whole vibe with everyone, it was like a family. And the coaches were really nice and I just  knew, right away, I wanted to come here, which is weird because it was South Dakota. And everyone was like ‘what?’ But I liked it.”

The juco transfer from Foothill College also likes taking advantage whatever situation she’s in, particularly on the fast break.

“A lot of teams  struggle with transition defense," Contreras said. "So, if I can come and take it to you in transition D, I’m going to go ahead and do that.”

“What I’ve learned with her is that she’s just very deceptive, everything just looks kind of smooth and then, boom, she explodes,” Amy Williams said. “And that’s just, kind of, part of her game and what makes her difficult to defend.”

Difficult doesn’t even begin to describe the rash of injuries the Coyotes have had this season. Nicole Seekamp and Heidi Hoff have both gone down in recent weeks, which means Contreras has had to keep her scoring up.

Raeshel Contreras“Once we slid her kind of into that ‘off’ position, I think she’s really found her home and found her niche and has provided a good scoring threat for us in that spot,” Williams said.

Part of that scoring can be attributed to Contreras’ shooting, which is something she’s been working on since she picked up a ball.

“When I was learning how to shoot younger, my shooting coach told me ‘you’re going to have to have a quick release because you’re going to be smaller than a lot of people,’" Contreras explained. "So, I really tried to work on my quick release just because I am small and I have to get it off someway.”

But whether it’s in transition or just letting it fly, Contreras’ basketball philosophy is pretty simple.

“I kind of just take what’s there and go with it,” Contreras said.

Contreras’ was on the bench to start the season, but with the injuries, she’s been moved into the starting lineup and is now averaging a team-leading 12.6 points per game.


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