Brevard, N.C. - After three years, the time is now for seniors Lindsay Brendle, Holli Flippo and Anna Schlobohm, as the trio comprises the Tornados first four year graduating class of players who have spent their entire career in South Atlantic Conference play.
Coach Shannon Reid begins her fourth season with the Tornados women’s basketball team as the Tornados look to return to the postseason after falling short of the 2011 Food Lion South Atlantic Conference tournament and returns four starters and 11 players from last years’ squad.
The Tornados lost starting post player Amanda Whitaker to graduation, but return four key starters, including junior point guard Micheala Watkins and senior guard/forward Anna Schlobohm as the duo were named to the preseason All-SAC Second Team.
Watkins returns after becoming the first Brevard College women’s basketball player to win a SAC statistical championship after leading the conference in steals per game with 2.68 per game, including a BC single game record with 10 steals on November 20th against St. Andrews.
Schlobohm was the key to the Tornados offense last season, as the rising senior played the sixth-man role under Coach Reid, providing instant offense when she walked on the court. A strong 5-8 guard, Schlobohm has the skills to create her own shot at will and added a career high 27 point game last season as she looks to continue to be the spark the BC offense needs this season.
Seniors Flippo and Brendle also plan on making an impact in their final season in Boshamer Gymnasium as all three have been influential in the program since day one when they stepped on campus. Flippo returns after having been the team’s leading rebounder last season from the guard position as the 5-6 athlete from Kingston Springs, Tenn. possesses the basketball acumen and determination to bang down low, while also providing a dead-eye shot from the outside after connecting on 37 three-pointers last season.
Brendle added another dynamic to her skilled offensive set in the 2010-2011 season as she began to push the ball into the lane instead of settling for jump shots on the outside and the rising senior completed her most successful season after leading the Tornados with 11.9 points per game, connecting on a team high 42.9 percent of her field goal attempts. Brendle was also third on the team in rebounding and will look to continue to her growth as she takes on a larger role in the offense this season.
Juniors Asheley Watkins, Candice Fritz and Alyssa Cutshaw also return to provide experience to the Tornados depth chart.
Watkins, a defensive stopper and athletic slasher showcased both skills last season and cracked her way into the starting lineup and provides speed for Coach Reid in the lineup when matched with Micheala, while also running as the back-up point guard. Fritz showcased her skills early last season with a double-double and continues to work her way into developing into one of the top post players in the conference, while Cutshaw gives the Tornados dependability and stability in the offense and provides a left-handed stroke from the perimeter for Brevard.
Katelynne Poole returns after a redshirt season and is one of the best pure shooters on the court, leading the Tornados at the free throw line in her first season, and with a year under her belt, her confidence is running high as she returns to the BC lineup. Chezney McJunkin also comes back for her sophomore campaign and will give Brevard a change-of-pace at the point guard position when she steps on the court.
New faces will also play a key role for the Tornados in the 2011-2012 season as Brevard welcomes Lacey Singletary, Chantel Alford and Taylor Hiatt to the crowd.
Singletary is expected to step in and help provide a presence in the post for the Tornados, as the 6-1 athlete can contribute both offensively and defensively. Alford is also expected to make an impact in the post with her ability to score and rebound possessing a strong back to the basket game, while Hiatt’s ability to defend, rebound, and score from different positions will allow her to make an immediate impact in the program.
The Tornados will begin their 2011-2012 campaign on the road on November 12th against Belmont Abbey.