June 19, 2015

BY JOHN D. HOMAN
Logan Media Services

CARTERVILLE – There is no doubt that first-year John A. Logan College women’s basketball coach Amanda Shelby has her work cut out for her in assembling a roster for next season.

Only one returning player, sophomore guard Haley Darnell of Goreville, returns to the fold. Six other would-be sophomores will not be back for various reasons, including starting point guard Abbi Denton and sharpshooting forward Shelby Beussink, as well as post players Hailee Lampley and Madelyn Rigdon and forwards Jahkia Holt and Kalai Trice.

Shelby’s first two signings this spring were in-district players, Kaili Bacon of Carbondale and Cheyenne Abbadusky of Elverado.

A third signing was former Southern Illinois Prep Player of the Year, McKena Miller of Carbondale, who transferred to Logan from the University of Missouri-St. Louis.

On Thursday, Shelby announced three other players have verbally committed to the Volunteers. They are: Whitney Moore, a 6-foot-3 center from Phillips Academy in Chicago; Erin Temple, a 5-foot-5 shooting guard from Cabrini High School in New Orleans, La.; and Gabby Sanders, a 6-foot-2 forward from Homewood Flossmoor High School in Chicago.

Sanders actually attended St. Joseph’s University in Rensselaer, Ind. last season, but redshirted and maintains two years of basketball eligibility at Logan.

“I’m very excited to have all three of these girls join our team,” Shelby said. “All of them are different and all of them will play a key role with us. Whitney and Gabby are going to play in the middle. They can both rebound and play defense and are working on their offensive skills. Erin is a shooting guard. She’s quick, can handle the ball, and plays great defense.”

Moore, who averaged eight points and seven rebounds a game last year, said she can’t wait to get started.

“I’m really excited. After visiting the campus, I think Logan will be a great fit for me. I want to become a better player and help the team win.”

Moore said her emphasis has always been on defense first, which she hopes will carry over to the next level.

“In college, I will no longer be the only big player,” she said.

Moore said she plans to major in communications.

Temple said she, too, is looking forward to the opportunity to play college basketball.

“I’ve been thinking about playing college ball since I was maybe 10 years old,” she said. “I may be a little on the smaller side, but I have always believed in heart over height.”

Temple said long-range shooting is her specialty. She averaged 13 points a game and connected on 54 percent of her shots from beyond the three-point arc. She also dished out four assists a game and recorded almost five steals each outing.

Temple plans to major in early childhood education.

Sanders was a two-year starter at Flossmoor. She originally signed with Logan out of high school before accepting an offer from St. Joseph’s.

“I’ve dreamed about playing college ball since I was little,” Sanders said previously. “I’m looking forward to the challenge and am hopeful I can contribute right away.”

Sanders described herself as “active” around the hoop and “a pretty good shot blocker.”

 

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If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Dr. Steve O’Keefe at 618-985-2828 ext. 8569 or email at steveokeefe@jalc.edu.