Lady Lions banking on Tanks
San Antonio pipeline sends 'Shooter'
Smithson Valley's Shaina Tanks signs
WAXAHACHIE, Texas -- Forgive women’s basketball coach Arlon Beadles for smiling. He just completed the recruiting class of 2012-13 with the third player to sign a letter of intent. He is, however, holding out for one more.
Shaina Tanks, a shooting guard from Smithson Valley High School in Spring Branch, Texas, will enroll to study a sociology-related major while suiting up to play for Southwestern Assemblies of God University.
Spring Branch is located northwest of San Antonio, an area that continues to supply SAGU with talented student-athletes.
While playing for Smithson Valley head coach Nicole Villarreal, the 5’7 two-guard was a unanimous selection for First-Team All-District 27 (Class 4A). Last season she scored at a 15.6 points per game clip on a Lady Rangers unit that went 11-22 overall.
Tanks was nominated for the All-Region Team.
Known her extended three-point range, Tanks drained 71 triples as a senior.
Nicknamed “Shooter” by Charlie Harper, her AAU coach of the San Antonio Rohawks, he praises her outside game.
“She made around 50% of her threes (for the Rohawks),” he said on Wednesday. “Shaina (SHAY-nah) has such a quick release that it’s in the air before you have time to react. Plus, she shoots with a high arc and has deep range.”
“She is ambidextrous and drives to the hole very effectively,” Harper continued. “That’s only part of her game. She excels in man-to-man defense.”
Coach Beadles, who has previously signed point guard Taylor Hill (Waxahachie, Tx) and winger Jessica Sodich (Ovilla, Tx), said of this year’s recruits; “I feel with these two ladies and Taylor Hill, we have signed three outstanding players to add to our team for this coming year.”
SAGU’s veteran head coach, who will earn his 200th career win early in the season, points out that Tanks averaged 3.2 rebounds and 1.3 steals per contest.
Beadles still hopes to add an interior player as the Lady Lions lost their top two rebounders from 2012, and their #3 player on the boards (Kassy Cox; Lufkin, Tx) won’t be available until after the volleyball season.
He will need returning forwards to step up to the plate or land an impact player on the baseline.
During her junior season the Smithson Valley soared to a 29-5 finish, going 12-0 in district play. The Lady Rangers were Bi-District champions advancing to the area finals.
Tanks averaged 5.1 ppg and made 35% of her shots. She swished 86% from the free throw line while registering 26 steals and reeling in 54 rebounds. The guard received All-District Honorable Mention credit that season.
“She’s an outstanding jump shooter, a good ball-handler, penetrator and plays great defense,” Beadles concluded.
No wonder the coach is as happy as a raccoon in a smokehouse!
Tanks is the daughter of parents Kenney and Trashawn. Her younger sister, Kenedi, is a junior high guard.
“Shaina is the hardest working young lady I’ve ever had in our program,” quipped Harper, the Rohawks’ coach. “She began as a 'prospect' several years ago and finished as our #1 player.”
“On the floor, Shaina is all business,” he continued. “And she also understands the value of an education. She’s a good student.” She ranked 12th in her senior class and earned inclusion on the District 27-4A All-Academic Team.
About SAGU women's basketball
SAGU had their first sub .500 season in five years last winter. They recovered from a 10-game losing streak and an 0-7 start in the Red River Athletic Conference to qualify for the RRAC tournament.
As is their custom, they ranked nationally on defense.
They yielded just 58.9 points per game, which was second in the Red River and #22 in the NAIA. The team held opponents to 34% shooting, 8th best in the nation. It was the fourth straight year they ranked in the top 15 in the category.
Led by Shaquita Roberts (San Antonio, Tx), who led the NAIA in blocked shots (114) and was #14 in rebounds (10.3), and Gabby Bruner (Peaster, Tx), who scored 7.7 ppg and snatched 7.7 caroms per game, the team held their own on the frontline.
A struggle protecting the ball, making 22.6 turnovers per game, reflected a green backcourt. As a result, SAGU scored 50.8 ppg, last in the 13-team RRAC.
That group (of guards) developed over the course of the season, sparked by transfer sophomore Nia Winston (Garland, Tx). She scored about 14 ppg including 63 three-pointers and 77% accuracy on the foul line.
Another by-product of the rebuilding effort was the increase in the Lady Lions’ depth.
Players like sophomore Andrea Lugo (San Antonio, Tx) and freshmen Okevia Bratchett (Center, Tx) Cordia Harvatin (San Antonio, Tx), Sascha Lewis (Lufkin, Tx) and Brittany Griffin (Rockwall, Tx) gained valuable experience.
Two of them, Harvatin and Griffin, were prolific prep point-producers, scoring over 25 ppg. Should their game rise to the NAIA level, they could fill the void on offense.
The key this year may rest in forwards Jirah Rodriguez (Georgetown, Tx) and Sierra Hankins (Welch, Ok). They will come back healthy and lighter after enduring nagging hurts last winter.
Southwestern, members in both the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) and the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) will start their 30-game season in Bethany, Oklahoma during November 2-3.
They will participate (two games) in the Southwestern Christian University Classic in a suburb of Oklahoma City.
A week later the Lady Lions begin a three-game homestand with the annual SAGU Classic. Their home debut is Friday, Nov. 9, against Dallas Christian College.
Following the Lady Lions tracks
Fans can follow the team on LiveStats, a digital play-by-play of the accounts and the statistics of the game. This webcast service will be available at all home dates, as well as many road games.
A new Twitter account will update fans with game/score alerts.
For the third consecutive season the team will broadcast their home contests on the internet in high definition – the only NAIA team to do so. SAGU TV will bring the live action starting in January through the remainder of the season.
Last year's broadcast duo of Clay Scarborough and Tim Roberts is expected to return. Scarborough serves as host and play-by-play announcer, while Roberts, a SAGU senior, is the color analyst.
The team will open their fall camp in October. Fans will get their first look at the squad at the annual Midnight Madness event, which includes a 3-point shootout.
The date for the MM as well as details about accessing Twitter, LiveStats and SAGU TV will be announced prior to the season.
Each of these services are available without a charge for fans.
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