Category Archives: Women’s Basketball

BASKETBALL: Montano headed to Bellarmine

Mercy guard Therese Montano will not be a Lady Topper.

A source told the Herald Wednesday that Montano will honor her commitment to Bellarmine University in Louisville — a decision Montano said she had to make by today — and sign to play for the Knights.

Montano and another Mercy guard, Ellen Sholtes, visited Western last week and attended the Lady Toppers’ basketball banquet with the team. The Bowling Green Daily News subsequently reported that Sholtes had committed, but Montano didn’t make her final decision until this week.

Montano’s decision to play at Bellarmine now sits Head Coach Mary Taylor Cowles a scholarship below her desired No. 13 — a mark Cowles said she’d like to hit heading into the 2010-2011 season.

Jonathan Lintner

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BASKETBALL: Topper, Lady Topper recruiting notes

Head Coach Ken McDonald turned heads at Thursday night’s awards banquet when he said he expects to see eight fresh faces on the court for Western next season.

McDonald will already add Juan Patillo and Teeng Akol, transfers who are currently sitting out the NCAA’s required one year. Western also signed a pair of junior college guards — Ken Brown and Kahlil McDonald — last week as part of the NCAA’s Regular Signing Period. Those four add on to Stephon Drane, Kene Anyigbo and Brandon Peters, who each signed last November.

But who’s No. 8?

“You never know — you media guys always want to know the ins and outs,” McDonald said. “Stay tuned.”

McDonald pointed out that although the Regular Signing Period ends May 19, recruiting season never truly stops throughout the summer. Case in point: McDonald signed freshman guard Jamal Crook very late in the game before the 2009-2010 season.

Meanwhile, Head Coach Mary Taylor Cowles said her lucky number is 13 — the number of scholarships she’s seeking to fill for her Lady Topper team next season.

After learning senior forward Arnika Brown will be granted another scholarship, Cowles now sits at 11 scholarships. Mercy Academy (Louisville) guards Therese Montano and Ellen Sholtes were both in attendence at Thursday’s banquet.

“We’re very hopeful in this late signing that we can add one or two more to our roster,” Cowles said. “Some people talk about the No. 13 — I think it can be really lucky, so we’re going to put all those efforts together late in this signing and hopefully have really good news and then just get ourselves refocused and ready for the fall.”

Montano is currently committed to Bellarmine University but told the Herald on Monday she’s starting to consider signing with Western.

Brown’s paperwork almost done

Cowles said she expects to have no problems in finishing senior forward Arnika Brown’s paperwork, which will grant her an official release from her scholarship at Kentucky.

“I think when we talk about paperwork at this point, I think it’s more of the formality of they need to sign here and she needs to sign here, and then it needs to get submitted to the NCAA office,” Cowles said.

Cowles said conversations to give Brown another year at Western were done exclusively through Athletics Director Wood Selig — who said his last day at Western will be May 5 — and Kentucky Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart.

“Just a big thank you to Kentucky for taking that stand and allowing Arnika to have that opportunity,” Cowles said.

Jonathan Lintner

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BASKETBALL: Awards banquet wrapup

For the first time, the Topper and Lady Topper basketball programs came together as one for their postseason awards banquet on Thursday night.

In front of players, families and fans, head coaches Ken McDonald and Mary Taylor Cowles designated senior guard A.J. Slaughter as the men’s Most Valuable Player and now-junior forward Arnika Brown as the women’s MVP.

2009-10 Topper Award Winners:
Clem Haskins Most Valuable Player: AJ Slaughter
E.A. Diddle Award: Steffphon Pettigrew and Sergio Kerusch
Danny Rumph Outstanding Teammate Award: Jeremy Evans
Ralph Crosthwaite Field Goal Accuracy Award: Jeremy Evans
Darel Carrier Free Throw Accuracy Award: AJ Slaughter
Tom Marshall Rebounder of the Year: Sergio Kerusch
Dwight Smith Playmaker of the Year: AJ Slaughter
John Oldham Most Improved Player: Cliff Dixon
Bobby Rascoe Defensive Player of the Year: Steffphon Pettigrew and Jeremy Evans
Dixie Mahurin Academic Award: Caden Dickerson
Jones Family Appreciation Award: Dr. Camden Wood Selig and Family

2009-10 Lady Topper Award Winners:
Most Valuable Player:
Arnika Brown
Most Improved Player: LaTeira Owens
Coach’s Award: Kenzie Rich
Free Throw Accuracy Award: Kenzie Rich

Men’s freshman guard Caden Dickerson didn’t leave his seat once he made it there on crutches. Dickerson had a scheduled knee surgery after 2009-2010 season.

Slaughter and Evans were both absent from the banquet, with McDonald saying they were away working out for professional careers. Also missing were junior forwards Juan Patillo and Cliff Dixon for personal reasons, McDonald said, and senior forward Nemanja Milosevic for a school project.

Transfers William Green and Jameson Tipping were both in attendance.

All Lady Toppers players were accounted for.

Jonathan Lintner

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WKU offers Mercy Academy’s Montano

Head Coach Mary Taylor Cowles has four scholarships open on the Lady Toppers’ roster as a result of freshmen Lashay Davis and Courtney Clifton requesting releases from their scholarships.

But give Cowles some time — she’s trying to fill them.

Therese Montano, a senior guard from Mercy Academy in Louisville, told the Herald Monday that she’s still verbally committed to play at Bellarmine University but will visit Western later this week and consider signing with the Lady Toppers. Montano said Cowles offered her sometime within the last two weeks, and she’s trying to decide if playing Division I basketball is worth breaking her commitment with Bellarmine.

Montano said she has until April 28 to sign at Bellarmine. The NCAA’s Division I Regular Signing Period runs through May 19.

Mercy won the 2010 KHSAA State Tournament in Diddle Arena on March 13. Montano was selected as a member of the KHSAA Girl’s All-Tournament Team.

Montano’s brother, Joe Montano, walked on for two seasons on the Topper football team. Therese has another sister, Catherine Montano, who is a freshman at Western. With family all around her at Western, Montano said that will heavily influence her decision.

Jonathan Lintner

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BASKETBALL: Kelly comments on trade to San Antonio

You’ve got to think former Lady Topper star Crystal Kelly might keep a suitcase permanently packed.

After being drafted by the Houston Comets in the 2008 WNBA Draft, Kelly was released but quickly signed with the Sacramento Monarchs. After one season in Sacramento, she was traded to the Detroit Shock.

The Shock then made the transition this offseason from Detroit to Tulsa, where Kelly was preparing to settle down when the WNBA’s season begins in May. And then came another move. 

Kelly was traded Wednesday from the Shock to the San Antonio Silver Stars, according to the latter’s Web site. Although the Silver Stars are Kelly’s fourth team and the third she will have played with, she told the Herald Thursday via e-mail that she’s pleased with the trade.

“I am really excited about the move to San Antonio,” Kelly stated in the e-mail. “I think that this is a great opportunity for me, and the overall staff there is great from what I have heard.”

Kelly hadn’t even made it to Tulsa yet, as she is currently finishing up her play with an Italian team, ACP Livorno, during the offseason.

“It wasn’t that hard to make the move because … it’s as if I’m going from Detroit straight to San Antonio,” she stated in the e-mail.

Kelly said she had the chance to speak with the Silver Stars’ general manager after the trade, and the team expressed enthusiasm about having her in training camp.

“(That) made me more excited about getting a chance to make a team that has a great reputation and usually does well in the playoffs,” she stated in the e-mail. “It will be a tough training camp but I’m looking forward to the challenge.”

The Silver Stars begin their 2010 regular season with a May 15 home game against the Atlanta Dream.

-Zach Greenwell

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Arnika Brown expected to return for 2010-2011 season

Senior forward Arnika Brown thought her college eligibility was exhausted leaving the 2009-2010 season.

After all, the Kentucky transfer participated in Western’s Senior Night and talked the talk of what it was like to play her final game in Diddle Arena.

But Brown has finally been granted a release from Kentucky and plans to return to play for the Lady Toppers in the 2010-2011 season, according to Chris Glowacki of Western’s media relations office.

The only thing standing in Brown’s way is the final paperwork, which Glowacki said shouldn’t be a holdup in the process. Since the season ended, Glowacki said Brown has continued to work out at Western.

Herald Staff

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BASKETBALL: Former Lady Topper Kelly traded to San Antonio

Just as former Lady Topper standout Crystal Kelly was about to get her bearings with the WNBA’s Tulsa Shock, she’s headed to a new city.

Kelly was traded today from the Shock to the San Antonio Silver Stars for guard Shanna Crossley, according to the Silver Stars’ Web site.

After beginning her WNBA career with the Sacramento Monarchs, Kelly was traded last season to the Detroit Shock. The team moved to Tulsa during the offseason, and Kelly was preparing to return from playing in Italy to join the team for the league’s May start.

The Herald had a chance to catch up with Kelly a few days ago while she was in Italy. Click here for the story.

Kelly will now get the chance to play with former Middle Tennessee star Alysha Clark, who was drafted by San Antonio in the second round of this year’s WNBA draft. Also on the team is Tasha Humphrey, the sister of 2010 Lady Topper signee Mimi Hill.

Kelly averaged 5.6 points and 2.4 rebounds in her first two years in the league.

-Zach Greenwell

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