Claremore Daily Progress


July 5, 2013

Bentonville's Lee joins JBU women's basketball team

SILOAM SPRINGS, Ark. — John Brown University  head women's basketball coach Jeff Soderquist announced today the signing of three players to complete the 2013-14 recruiting cycle.

"I believe this is a very athletic class coming in," noted Soderquist. "Teams only improve in the Sooner Athletic Conference, and with Anna Parrish graduating, we needed to make sure we found ability and speed at the guard position."

Headlining the trio of newcomers is Bentonville native Taylor Lee, a two-time 7A all-state recipient. The 5-foot-8 shooting guard played under head coach Tom Halbamier at Bentonville High School where Lee led the Lady Tigers' program in scoring her final two years. This past season, Lee was chosen to play on the west team in the Arkansas Girl's Basketball All-Star Game.

"Taylor had a great high school career," Soderquist added. "She'll be a wing player for us. We're very excited she chose John Brown."

Lee will look to major in Exercise Studies during her time at JBU. More importantly, it was the draw of the campus and program that solidified her decision.

"I chose JBU because it seemed to fit me the best," said Lee. "Not only is it close to home, but I'll be able to compete at the next level of basketball for me. The campus is beautiful and everyone is very inviting. It is the kind of environment I want to be around for the next four years."

Joining Lee is Columbia native and transfer, Eliana Fernandez. Fernandez, a 5-foot-7 guard, recently finished her second year at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M, an NJCAA institution, and helped guide the Lady Norse to a Region II Championship in 2012 while being named Honorable Mention all-region.

"Eliana has a great amount of quickness and talent," said Soderquist. "She can shoot threes but also drives and get others open shots, all while being a fantastic defender."

Fernandez, the daughter of Ivaro Fernandez and Rosa Zambrano, will look to major in International Business while wearing the Blue and Gold and will have two years of eligibility remaining.

"I first heard of JBU from a friend, and I immediately knew going here had a lot of potential," admitted Fernandez. "During my visit, I fell in love with the campus and, of course, with the great International Business program that I was looking for. All of the staff, coaches and players at JBU instantly made me feel comfortable and when I met with the current basketball team, I was certain being a Golden Eagle was the best thing for me. The decision wasn't hard."

Lastly, Bianca Pensy rounds out the recruiting class as the Yaounde, Cameroon native makes her way to Siloam Springs by way of Lighthouse Christian School in Antioch, Tenn. While the 5-foot-8 guard was only able to practice with the boy's team at LCS after her move from Africa, Pensy turned into a dynamic player under the tutelage of head coach Victor Wharton.

"Bianca is a great athlete that will be needed in order to compete day-in and day-out," Soderquist admitted. "She has great upside and the pure athleticism she brings creates tremendous up-side for us."

Pensy, the daughter of Emmanuel Pensy and Salome Aba, will apply her Honor Roll accolades from LCS in pursuit of a degree in Biology during her time at John Brown.

The women's basketball team finished the 2012-13 season with an overall 13-17 mark while nabbing a 7-9 record in SAC play. Despite finishing fifth in the conference, the Golden Eagles upset Oklahoma Baptist in the quarterfinals of the SAC tournament before falling to eventual national quarterfinalist Oklahoma City in the semifinals.

Text Only
  • Patel named RSU men's basketball assistant coach

    Rogers State University head men’s basketball coach Justin Barkley named Vinay Patel the new assistant men’s basketball coach on Monday.

    “I am very excited about bringing Vinay on board,” Barkley said. “He brings invaluable experience to the program as he is a well-respected recruiter and his NCAA Division II resume is a perfect fit as we continue our transition to become a full-NCAA Division II member.”

    April 22, 2014

  • DSC_0089web.jpg All-State Hoopsters

    Verdigris senior point guard Baileigh O’Dell capped off a stellar four-year prep basketball career with Tulsa World 2nd-Team All-State recognition.
    O’Dell, a 5-foot-5 floor general that will compete for the Lamar University Lady Cardinals in the Southland Conference next season, was one of five girls basketball players from Rogers County to earn All-State accolades.
    Claremore senior point guard Kaleigh Cox, Inola senior point guard Lexi Williams, Verdigris senior guard Caitlyn Hanslovan and Verdigris freshman forward Keara Battenfield were named to the honorable mention squad.

    April 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • DSC_0127web.jpg SOCCER: Lady Zebras ranked 4th in Class 5A poll

    Strong senior leadership and a talented core of underclassmen have kept the Claremore Lady Zebras on a nine-game winning streak since falling in the season opener.
    Senior midfielder Katelin Teter and senior defenders Jentry Cruce and Anna McGuire have the Lady Zebras playing their best soccer in the closing week of the regular season.
    Behind Teter, Cruce and McGuire, as well as other seniors Bailey Bacon and Emily Parkinson, the Lady Zebras (9-1) are currently ranked No. 4 overall in the Class 5A girls soccer state poll.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • DSC_0181web.jpg BASEBALL: Claremore splits series with Collinsville

    The moment Claremore senior catcher Matt Whatley got thrown out at home plate in the top of first inning, it was downhill for the Zebras.
    Collinsville took advantage of six Claremore errors and erupted for 17 hits to thump the Zebras, 15-2 Friday afternoon in Metro Lakes Conference play.

    April 21, 2014 2 Photos

  • BROWNweb.jpg BASEBALL: Catoosa’s Brown holds off Ft. Gibson

    Nick Brown twirled a four-hitter and Catoosa held firm defensively with the game on the line, powering the Indians to a 4-3 victory over Fort Gibson Saturday on Senior Day.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • DSC_0216web.jpg RSU's Law silences UT-Permian Basin

    The Rogers State University baseball team dropped game one of a Heartland Conference series at Texas-Permian Basin, 2-0, but battled back to split the twin bill Friday with a 7-1 victory in the night cap.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Southern Mississippi searching for new basketball coach

    Southern Mississippi athletic director Bill McGillis thought basketball coach Donnie Tyndall might not last long as the team kept winning games.

    April 22, 2014

  • Kentucky's Julius Randle enters NBA Draft

    Kentucky forward Julius Randle took a lot of time and talked to a lot of people before deciding to leave after one season for the NBA draft, where he is expected to be among the top five selections.

    April 22, 2014

  • BIG TEN MBB: Illinois player Darius Paul arrested

    University of Illinois police say basketball player Darius Paul faces preliminary charges of resisting a peace officer and unlawful consumption of alcohol by a minor.

    April 22, 2014

  • SEC MEN'S BB: Tennessee hires Southern Mississippi's Donnie Tyndall

    Tennessee's coaching position had just become available when Donnie Tyndall received a text message urging him to pursue the job.

    April 22, 2014