Sugar Bears sign 3 in early period


Three in-state prospects have cemented their decision to join the University of Central Arkansas women’s basketball program, signing national letters of intent to become Sugar Bears next season.     

Guards Kelsey Smith of Little Rock Christian and twin sisters Jameka and Janeka Watkins of England, Ark., will join head coach Matt Daniel’s team next fall, filling a void that will be created with the graduation of three senior guards.    

"I’m an Arkansas guy, I like Arkansas talent and don’t see any reason for it to leave this state unnecessarily," Daniel said. "You have to find the right fit for your program and the timing has to work out with what you need in that given year, and this year it so happens that it worked out where we were able to fill our needs within our own borders." 

Smith averaged 12 points, five rebounds, four assists and two steals per game last season, shot 43 percent from the field and 37 percent from 3-point range for a Warrior team that advanced to the state semifinals. The year prior, they were state runners-up.     

Janeka Watkins averaged 25.3 points, 5.3 assists, 3.6 rebounds and 3.4 steals last season for a 30-5 state champion England team, and poured in a career high of 51 points against Conway Christian. She has been named all-state as a freshman, sophomore and junior, and was named the Class 2A state MVP last year. In addition to earning All-Arkansas second team honors as a junior, she was also named to the state tournament team. Two seasons ago she was named to the All-Arkansas Super 6 Sophomore team.     

Jameka Watkins averaged 17.5 points, 4.9 assists, 4.3 steals and 3.1 rebounds, has been selected all-state the last two years and is a three-time all-conference selection. She was also selected to the state tournament team last season and has been an all regional performer in each of the last three years.    

The trio brings the total of Arkansas products Daniel has signed at UCA to 18 in his four years, and these three will fill roster spots opening with the departure of three other Arkansans in Nakeia Guiden (Guy-Perkins), Marci Moffitt (Batesville) and Destinee Rogers (Camden Fairview).

Ozarks downs Hendrix men, 80-60


CLARKSVILLE — The Hendrix College men’s basketball team lost their regular-season opener 80-60 to the University of the Ozarks at the Mabee Sports Complex on Tuesday night. The Eagles (1-0) shot a blistering 60 percent (33-of-55) from the field, while the Warriors shot just 36.8 percent (25-of-68).

After a 37-29 halftime lead, Ozarks expanded their advantage to 10 with 17:36 left to play. Hendrix answered with a Jaren Riley three-pointer and an Ammon Martin bucket, cutting the deficit to 39-34 with 17:05 remaining. That was as close as the Warriors would come, as the Ealges responded with an 11-2 run and would eventually expand the lead to 20.

Ozarks outrebounded Hendrix 40-30. The Eagles also took advantage at the free throw line, going 11-of-14, while the Warriors were only 2-of-6.

Martin, a senior guard from Conway, tied his career-best with 21 points to go with four assists and personal high of five steals. Riley added 11 points with three steals and senior guard Chris Goodman chipped in 10 points. Sophomore forward Colton Primm scored nine points, pulled down 11 rebounds and dished out a career-high four assists.

Bryton Flint came off the bench to lead Ozarks with 15 points. Kasey Lewis had 10 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks and Ronnie Dodd scored 11 points.

The Warriors will host Greenville at 8 p.m. Friday in the first day of the Cliff Garrison Classic.     

CBC softball ranked 4th in softball in preseason

Central Baptist College has been tabbed as the No. 4 team in NAIA Softball, according to the preseason coaches poll.

The Lady Mustangs tallied 493 total points and moved up one spot from the final poll in 2011.

With a record of 57-7 in 2011, this year’s team returns four NAIA All-Americans lead by junior Christen Kirchner, who is the reigning NAIA National Player of the Year.  Kirchner batted .509 with 26 home runs and 91 RBI. The other returning All-Americans include junior Kiara Bonner, who batted .413 with 21 homers and 63 RBI, senior Pitcher Jessica Bock, who was 22-3 with a 1.26 ERA and struck out 151 batters and senior Erica Gunter, who batted .420 with 13 home runs and 51 RBI. The Lady Mustangs also return sophomore pitchers Emily Guess who was 17-2 with a 1.16 ERA and Jessica Sheldon, who was 18-2 with a 2.09 ERA.

Hendrix’s Jasso makes field hockey all-region


Hendrix College freshman field hockey player Erika  Jasso has been selected to the Longstreth/National Field Hockey Coaches Association All-Great Lakes Region First Team. 

The forward from Oceanside, Calif., is the third Warrior in program history to earn All-Region honors.

Jasso, the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference’s Newcomer of the Year and first team All-SCAC selection, broke school records with 36 points and 16 goals. She ranked 18th in the nation and led the league in goals and was third in the SCAC and 20th in the country in points. Jasso was also eighth in the SCAC with four assists. 

Jasso helped the Warriors, under head coach Ellie Karvoski, to a program best 10-5 record and a 3-3 mark in league play, tying for second place.

Three from UCA earn SLC volleyball honors


Marissa Collins of the University of Central Arkansas, the Southland Conference’s Freshman Setter of the Year and All-SLC first team last year, has been named to the second-team volleyball unit this year.

The Pearland, Texas, native has appeared in 27 matches while making 25 starts. She has assisted 1,048 kills this season and is second in Southland play with a 10.3 assists per set average.  Collins has recorded 60 or more assists in three different matches this year and has assisted 50 or more kills nine times this season. 

In her first two seasons, Collins has quickly moved up the career assist list. She has recorded 2,467 assists, which places her fourth all-time in the school’s history. She needs just 158 more assists to move past Kim Wilson for third all-time. 

Her teammates, libero Cristin Curl and middle blocker Taylor Hammonds were both honorable mention selections.

Amber Calhoun of Texas State was named the Southland Volleyball Player of the Year and her coach. Karen Chisum was named the Southland Coach of the Year.