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Lady Wildcat Basketball Opens Season Friday in Chamber Classic

Posted 10/22/18

 

MCKENZIE, Tenn. – The Bethel University Lady Wildcats open their 2018-19 basketball season with two games this weekend in the Annual Carroll County Chamber of Commerce Classic.   …

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Lady Wildcat Basketball Opens Season Friday in Chamber Classic

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MCKENZIE, Tenn. – The Bethel University Lady Wildcats open their 2018-19 basketball season with two games this weekend in the Annual Carroll County Chamber of Commerce Classic.   The field includes Bethel, Campbellsville, Hiwassee and Brescia.

The Match-Ups:

The Lady Cats meet Hiwassee College Friday night in Crisp Arena at 8 p.m. Campbellsville will meet Brescia at 6 p.m.

The Lady Cats will then meet Brescia Saturday at 4 p.m. Campbellsville will face Hiwassee at 2 p.m.

Bethel vs. Opponents:

Bethel is 5-0 all-time against Hiwassee and 6-2 all-time versus Brescia.

Season Preview

A successful 2017-2018 season saw Bethel Women’s Basketball go 20-11 and make a return trip to the NAIA National Tournament. It was Bethel’s 12th national tournament appearance. Thirteenth year head coach Chris Nelson has eight players back from last year’s team including four that saw action in the majority of the rotations.

Heading the list of returners is an experienced, tough minded backcourt that gives the Lady Wildcats a solid foundation.

Junior shooting guard Morgan Martin is the most experienced of the group. The 5’7 Bradford, Tennessee native is a 1st Team all-conference member having averaged 11.2 ppg and 5.5 rpg. She is well-positioned to have the best year she has had. Coach Chris Nelson said, “We always expect big things out of Morgan, but this year she just looks and seems more comfortable in her role and I can’t wait to see it carry over into season.”

Sophomore point guard Millie Bryant became a consistent threat as last season progressed. She had an excellent showing in the second half of conference play. “Millie knows how to run a ball club and is a great facilitator and distributor,” stated Nelson. “She is a natural leader that leads by example and always finds a way through her grit and toughness.”

“Jani Crawford is one of our most improved players this summer,” said Nelson. “She was eager and wanted to play last season, but we had so many experienced veterans in that position. We expect her to be right into the rotation and get the job done. We know she has put the work in and prepared for her time.”

In the interior, senior Brandi Goodman will team up with classmate Madison Steppee to form a center tandem that allows the Lady Cats to have a tall post presence when called upon. The 6-2 Goodman is fundamentally sound and a standout scoring threat on the block. Goodman averaged 8.3 ppg and collected 4.3 rpg while averaging 18.8 minutes.

Along with the returning rotation players, the Lady Wildcats have several talented transfers and underclassmen that will play big roles this season.

Star transfer Myah Taylor will play her senior season at Bethel after playing and starting the previous three seasons at The University of Tennessee at Martin. “I’m expecting a huge year out of Myah,” said Nelson. “She is the ideal trail four in our system and is an explosive guard that can score in bunches. Her energy and leadership is so contagious and has already paid off in our locker room.”

Danielle Conley is another newcomer this season and will make an immediate impact on the offensive end of the floor. “She is so naturally gifted and has the ability to create her own shot, but it has been her mental approach and energy in the preseason we have been most excited about,” stated Nelson.

Tyasia Willis, who transferred from Pearl River Community College, is one of the more vocal players on the team. “Ty is one of our more verbal kids and has been a great leader thus far,” said Nelson. “We know what she is capable of on our team and that is doing all the dirty work. Ty is all energy and consistently runs the floor, rebounds, plays great defense and is a superb teammate.”

“Our freshmen players are talented student athletes and wonderful young ladies,” Nelson remarked. “Some have had pre-existing injuries and others have been plagued with some preseason setbacks. They will have the opportunity to work into the rotation and a couple of them will be called on early to help right away.”

“We’re just excited to get on the court together,” Nelson said. “Our expectations are always the same and our goal is to be the best team we are supposed to be. We feel like we have gotten back to where our talent level was a couple years ago, but more importantly our mindsets and attitudes match that. This team is simply enjoying each other and we are not going to rush the process and embrace each day together.”

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