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Thursday, 02 August 2012 09:56

Coach Lister Signs 10 Recruits

Coach Lister enters his second season with the Wildcats Coach Lister enters his second season with the Wildcats

BALDWIN CITY, Kan. – Second-year Baker University head women’s basketball coach Ben Lister has signed 10 players for his 2012-13 recruiting class and looks to rebuild a squad that has its eyes set at taking a step forward in the HAAC standings.

“Recruiting was a point of emphasis this season and we had to address a lot of areas,” said Lister. “We as a staff feel like we have accomplished that. We’re going to have very solid depth at every position and be longer and more athletic this season. We will still be very young with 11 players being either a freshman or sophomore, but as a whole, this group fits the direction we want to go and will be the foundation of us playing at a high level. I’m excited to see this group compete and lay the foundation for our future.”

The class of 10 new Wildcats includes five freshmen, two sophomores, two juniors and one senior.

Taylor Chase (5-11, Fr., ThunderRidge High School, Denver, Colo.)

Chase led ThunderRidge High School to four straight state tournaments reaching the Elite Eight all four years in class 5A in Colorado.

She averaged 10.5 points and seven rebounds as a senior and was named to the all-tournament team at the Nike Tournament of Champions in Phoenix, Ariz. She also hit the game-winning shot to send her team to the Elite Eight in her final year.

“Taylor has a great feel for the game,” said Lister. “She handles the ball well, can shoot the three, and is very physical finishing around the basket. Her versatility and size give her the ability to play the 1-4 positions on offense and we’re looking forward to utilizing that.”

Macy Wallisch (6-3, Fr., Holton High School, Holton, Kan.)

Wallisch started for Holton High school her senior season, as they pushed for their second consecutive undefeated season and state championship. They came up just short losing in the title game, giving her just one loss during her final two years of competition. She also competed at the state track meet in the triple jump.

“Macy is long and athletic,” said Lister. “She has very good instincts as a shot-blocker and is continuing to develop on offense. Her ability to defend is something we really needed and she is not afraid to be physical. She has tremendous upside.”

Nicole Carrieres (6-2, Fr., Mesquite High School, Chandler, Ariz.)

Carrieres led Mesquite in blocks and recorded as many as 16 in a game and had a career-high 20 rebounds in a contest.

“Nicole also brings athleticism and length to our front court,” said Lister. “She is intelligent and patient around the basket and has a very solid face-up game. She too has a lot of upside and will contribute early in her career.”

Ericka Simpson (5-6, Fr., Spring Hill High School, Spring Hill, Kan.)

Simpson is a three-time first team all-conference performer from nearby Spring Hill High School and averaged 12 points, and five assists her senior year.

“Ericka is a point guard with the ability to create opportunities for herself and her teammates,” said Lister. “She sees the floor very well and does a good job of playing through contact. She will give us a dimension on offense that we really need.”

Jami Hodge (5’8”, Fr., Spring Hill High School, Spring Hill, Kan.)

Hodge joins teammate Ericka Simpson on this year’s Wildcat squad, after leading her team in scoring the last two seasons and was in the top ten in the state in scoring average at 18 points per game.

She also qualified for the Kansas state track and field championships in multiple events, including the long jump and triple jump where she holds the school records in both. 

“Jami is fast, athletic, and a scorer,” said Lister. “She shoots the three well and is very gifted at getting out in transition, something we hope to take advantage of. She plays with a fearlessness that we like and she will push those around her every day to be at their best.”

Shea Shoemaker (5-11, Jr., Barton Community College, Minneapolis, Kan.)

Shoemaker averaged 8.5 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 2 assists per game her sophomore season at Barton CC, while shooting 38-percent from the three-point line.

Baker head coach Lister helped lead Shoemaker and the Barton CC team as an assistant coach to a second-place finish in its conference her freshman season.

“Shea brings a ton of versatility to our program,” said Lister. “She can shoot the three, create for others, and finish at the rim. She is athletic and long, and will be able to help us at multiple spots.”

Sherece Huddlin (5-11, Sr., University of Nebraska-Omaha, Hartford, Conn.)

Prior to her junior season at NCAA Division I Nebraska-Omaha, Huddlin played two seasons at Casper Junior College in Casper, Wyo., where she helped guide the team to two consecutive NJCAA National Tournament appearances.

Her sophomore season, she averaged 9.6 points and 10.6 rebounds per game placing her in the top 20 nationally for rebounding and ranked No. 4 in the country in offensive rebounds per game.

“Sherece is as tough as they come,” said Lister. “She competes, is athletic, and is relentless on the glass. She will bring a tremendous amount of energy and tenacity to our program and I could not be more pleased to have her finish her career with us.”

BriAnna Garza (5-6, Jr., Northeastern Oklahoma A&M Junior College, Austin, Texas) Garza led Northeastern Oklahoma A&M to a regional championship her sophomore season and averaged 8.3 points, three rebounds and 2 assists 

She began her career at William Jewell College before transferring after her freshman season and was a standout high school player at Lehman High School where she averaged 19.3 points and 6.1 rebounds per game as a senior.

“BriAnna is a skilled point guard that can score,” said Lister. “She distributes the ball well and is not afraid of taking the big shot. Her experience and leadership will be strong assets for our program next season.”

Sarah Lowry (5-11, So., North Arkansas Junior College, Siloam Springs, Ark.)

Sarah helped lead North Arkansas to 22 wins her freshman season and was an integral part of its success.

“Sarah has tremendous potential,” said Lister. “If she can improve upon her consistency, then we expect her to be able to be the player that she was coming out of high school when she had multiple NCAA schools recruiting her from BCS conferences. She is talented and will be a big factor for us if she can put it all together.” 

Kyrstie Ehm (5-10, So., Hutchinson Community College, Towanda, Kan.)

Ehm was a tremendous high school player for Circle High School and was twice named the Ark-Valley Chisholm Trail League MVP.

She also earned first team all-state honors as a junior and senior and made the Wichita All-Metro team. The 5-10 sophomore played on the U.S. international team in Europe after her senior season.

She led Circle High in points, rebounds, and steals as a senior and led the team to the state tournament as a junior.

“Kyrstie is athletic and multi-dimensional,” said Lister. “She has a quick release and excellent range and finishes at the rim with either hand. She also rebounds very well as a guard. We are excited about having her for three seasons.”

The 2012-13 Wildcat women’s basketball season opens up on Friday, Nov. 2 on the road at College of the Ozarks in Point Lookout, Mo.

“One common bond in this recruiting class is that almost all of these athletes have played for very successful, winning programs whether it be state tournaments or national tournaments,” said Lister. “They know how to compete and they expect to win, and that mindset will be a tremendous plus for us moving forward.”


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