FAYETTEVILLE – University of Arkansas women’s basketball coach Tom Collen began the spring signing period with the first-ever Michigan signees for the Lady Razorbacks, Quistelle Williams, this week.
Williams adds to the Lady’Backs’ top 25 ranked national recruiting class which recently produced four all-state first team selection and three statewide or all-star game MVPs.
Alabama’s Lyndsay Harris and Kentucky’s Ceira Ricketts led the way for their respective states in two of the most prestigious girls’ all-star games. Harris was the MVP of the 18th-annual Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Game. The Hoover, Ala., shooting guard faced off against her future Arkansas teammate, Ashley Daniels of Coldwater, Miss. Ricketts racked up 23 points to lead the Kentucky all-stars in the Ohio-Kentucky game, and was named to play in the upcoming Kentucky-Indiana All-Star series.
Daniels led her Coldwater team to a second-straight Mississippi state title, as did Carlisle, Ark., guard Julie Inman. Like Ricketts, Inman has one more all-star appearance as she will suit up for the East in the Arkansas All-Star game at Bud Walton Arena in June.
Here’s a quick review of the senior seasons of the Lady Razorback fall signees:
Ricketts scored 23 points to lead her home state team in the Ohio-Kentucky All-Star game in early April. She is also one of 12 players selected to represent the state of Kentucky at the annual two-game series against the Indiana All-Stars this June. Ricketts was picked as one of the 10 all-state players by the Kentucky Associated Press.
The Fairdale point guard picked up several triple double games this season including 19 points, 18 rebounds and 10 steals with Bullitt Central. Among her top scoring games was a 35 point effort a 75-56 win by the Lady Bulldogs over Bullitt East.
The highlight of the year on the box score came against Pleasure Ridge Park as the 5-9 point guard had a quadruple double with 21 points, 17 rebounds, 10 assists and 10 steals in the Sixth Region Tournament. She was within three blocked shots of an almost unheard of quintuple. Ricketts had a near miss at a second quad this season, turning in 29 points, 13 steals, 12 boards and eight assists against Southern, but has four in her six-year varsity career.
For her career, Ricketts scored 3,113 points to rank 11th all-time in Kentucky girls’ basketball history. She added 1,124 rebounds and 614 assists. Ricketts almost had a triple-K with 914 steals, which ranks second all-time among Blue Grass state prep girls. She was also voted the homecoming queen for FHS.
Daniels repeated as the Mississippi state champion in Class A as Coldwater went 35-1 this past season. Although playing in the state’s smallest division, Coldwater was ranked fourth in the state overall rankings, and Daniels was named to the Jackson Clarion-Ledger’s first-team all-state team.
This past season was the third trip to the state championship game for Daniels, who scored her career high with 36 points as a freshman. As a senior, Daniels’ top game was 26 against Horn Lake as she averaged 19.8 ppg and 8.7 rpg.
Daniels was selected to represent the Magnolia State in the annual Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Game.
Harris led Hoover High in points and assists her senior season as the Buccaneers went 30-2 overall and ran the table in HHS area. Twice this season the 5-9 shooting guard canned seven three-pointers, the first setting the record at the Fort Smith, Ark., Tournament of Champions where she was named MVP.
Harris’ three-point ability in crunch time was on display in late March as she was named the MVP of the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Game. With her team trailing by five, Harris hit two treys in the last 30 seconds of regulation – the second with just five ticks remaining — to send the game into overtime. She finished the game with 18 points in only 18 minutes played, including 5-of-9 from behind the arc, as the Alabama squad pulled out the OT victory, 89-86.
Harris was first-team Class 6A all-state by the Alabama Sports Writers Association and 2008 Super All-Metro by the Birmingham News. The News also tabbed Harris as the player of the year for the South-Hoover region. She was also a McDonald’s All-America nominee in Alabama.
Inman led Carlisle to a second straight state championship in Arkansas’ Class AA division. The two-time MVP of the Class AA tournament, Inman had 18 as the Lady Bison defeated Augusta, 55-41, to finish the season 26-7 overall. The Arkansas Activities Association named Inman to the 2008 Class AA All-State team and to the East Squad of the all-division all-star game, set to play June 19 at Bud Walton Arena.
Townsend transferred high schools as a senior, and was ruled ineligible along with several other girls and boys basketball transfers this past year to participate for her new school in the San Diego area. Last season, the 6-2 forward averaged 12 ppg for La Jolla’s County Day.