Clarke College women's basketball enthusiasts will see an
aggressive style of play from Crusaders this winter.
"This year's team
will be a lot more athletic than last year, and we're a lot bigger at the wing
this year," said second-year Clarke Head Coach Zareth Gray.
The Crusaders will officially open the new campaign at the
Warner Southern College Tournament on Nov. 1-2, in Lake Wales, Florida.
Clarke's aggressive style of ball this year will help compensate
for a lack of height on the inside.
"I keep preaching to our team that we're not very tall, so we
have to play aggressive and we have to make people react to us," said
Gray. "We don't want to be the ones reacting
Clarke's list of returning players includes senior Laura
Gaylord (5-6, G, Chicago Ridge, Ill.);
junior Mariah Bolin (6-0, F/C, Toledo, Ill.); and sophomores Tara Ahlf (5-8, F,
Cheney, Wash.), Molly Browning (5-10, F/C, St. Louis, Mo.), and Tiffany Till
(5-8, F, Andrew, Iowa).
Bolin started 27 of Clarke's 31 games last winter and led
the Crusaders in scoring (12.7 ppg), rebounding (7.7 rpg) and blocked shots
Gaylord stared 29 games and paced the squad in both assists
(87) and steals (64). She averaged 10.7 points and 5.4 rebounds per game.
Joining Gray's program this year are junior transfers
Shatisha Lewis (5-7, F, Palm Bay, Fla.) and Joquetta Rolle (5-7, F, Cocoa,
Fla.); and freshmen Mikayla Cowley (5-4, G, Shelley, Idaho), Michelle Jamison
(5-7, G, Martham, Ill.), and Nancie Oliver (5-0, G, Park Ridge, Ill.).
Gray said that Lewis and Rolle will definitely have an impact
on this year's team.
"They are both athletic and will play multiple roles for
us," said Gray.
Lewis and Rolle are transfers from Seminole Community
College, Sanford, Florida.
Clarke will step into Midwest Collegiate Conference play on
Dec. 3, when the Crusaders host Ashford University at the Robert and Ruth Kehl