The Barton Community College women's basketball program announces a partial list of signings for the upcoming 2017-18 Lady Cougar season.
"We are really excited about the incoming class," said second year Head Coach Alan Clark. "They are competitive and have a strong desire to succeed. I have no doubt they will represent Barton Community College well on and off the basketball floor."
Announced in the incoming class are five from the state of Kansas headlined by area native Taylor Regan from Otis-Bison High School. Joining returner Micaela Jellison from Protection will be fellow southwest Kansas' natives Jaylin Stapleton of Meade High School and Madison Dirks of South Gray High School. Wichita metro area's Mallory Miller of Goddard Eisenhower High School joins the team as does Ryen White of Ottawa High School from the northeast part of the state to round off a decorated and talented in-state class to the roster.
Returner Juliana Chagas of Brazil will be joined by three incomers from outside the state and beyond. Leila Blackburn, who played at Wichita's Life Prep Academy, hails from Whanaganui, New Zealand, along with Oklahoma City's Jeanna Dixon and Fatou Ndao of Sparta, New Jersey, add additional play-makers to the lineup.
Coach Clark is expected to announce additional signings for the season at a later date.
Regan capped off her senior season leading Otis-Bison to their best ever finish in girls basketball bringing home the third place trophy. An all-state selection her junior and senior year, the 5'10" guard/forward was named to the first team for her performance this year averaging 25 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists, and 5 steal per game. A multi-sport athlete, Regan captured the 2016 Class 1A State Long Jump title, finishing fourth past season, while also grabbing consecutive third place finishes in the triple jump.
"Taylor is a fantastic young lady and excellent athlete," Clark said. "She is very versatile, playing in all five positions, in addition to, being a gifted athlete in other sports. We are absolutely thrilled she is joining the Barton family."
Leading the Buffaloes to four straight state tournaments including a third placing her senior year, Stapleton set the school record for boys or girls in her career at Meade amassing over 1500 points. A four-time all-state selection, the 5'5" point guard averaged 21 points, 3 assists, and 4 steals per game earning her third time being honored with first team all-state honors.
"Jaylin is the point guard we wanted all year and we are so excited she chose Barton," said Clark. "She loves to compete and is very skilled and makes everyone around her better."
Another talented grab from southwest Kansas, Dirks was a two-time all-state selection for the Rebels of South Gray High School. The 5'10" shooting guard from Montezuma landed on the second team her senior year averaging 17 points, 6 rebounds, and 3 assists per game.
"Madison is an excellent shooter," remarked Clark. "She has great length which will allow her to develop into a top defender and can score with either hand around the basket. We are very happy she is continuing her education and basketball career at Barton."
The Lady Cougars signed two from the Wichita metro, the first being Goddard Eisenhower's all-league selection. The 5'8" shooting guard also landed on the third team of the Class 5A selections averaging just shy of 20 points and 7 rebounds while dishing out 3 assists a game for the Tigers.
"Mallory is one of the best pure shooters in the State of Kansas. She can also put it on the floor and as a really high basketball IQ. We are very fortunate to be able to sign Mallory."
From the northeast part of the state, an all-league and Class 4A all-state performer for the Cyclones of Ottawa, White is a 5'10" wing who poured in 15 points while grabbing 7.4 rebounds and dished out 3.6 assists a game her senior season.
"Ryen is extremely athletic with great length and has tremendous potential to be an impact player for us," Clark said. "As talented as she is on the court, she is an even better person off the court providing a tremendous asset for our team and the Barton Campus as a whole."
Joining Miller in the Wichita-metro signees, Blackburn is a 5'10" forward from Whanaganui, New Zealand, but played her high school basketball career at Wichita's Life Prep Academy.
"Leila will bring us much needed depth at the forward position," said Clark. "With Life Prep not being a member of the KSHSAA, Leila was able to play in more games and travel to other states to gain experience which will be valuable to her at this level."
Out of Centennial High School in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, Dixon utilized her 5'10" frame at the guard and wing positions, averaging 25 points per game to not only garner All-City honors, but earned Conference Player of the Year as well for her stellar senior campaign.
"Jeanna is a talented shooter and scorer who gives us great length at the guard position," remarked Clark. "She was President of her Class and Homecoming queen which tells you the quality of young lady she is and how diverse her talents are."
Rounding out the announced signees, Ndao is originally from the Sengal before arriving to New Jersey. With an athletic 6'2" frame, Ndao is a great defender, shot blocker, and rebounder.
"Fatou is continually developing her skills," Clark said. "Increasing her offensive skills, she will be a high level post player for us who can run the floor and score in transition."