After the first year at the helm, Coach McGee and Assistant Coach Jill have been hard at work rebuilding the basketball program to return to its former glory. For the coaching staff it started with recruiting good character young women that will help propel the Vikings come August. With no freshman returning there will be fourteen new faces representing the Vikings basketball team. Three sophomores and 11 freshman from across the Midwest and Spain.
Briar Johnson a 5’10” forward from Ironton, Missouri. Briar attended Arcadia Valley High School where she played volleyball and basketball. Johnson received awards such as a three year 1st Team All-Conference Player and All-District. She was a member of the KTJJ Dream Team for 2 years and MVP. She spent four years on the varsity basketball team and was team captain. Briar left her mark on Arcadia with having 1,295 career points and 816 rebounds. Off the court Briar was on the honor society where she found herself top 10 of her class and was on the honor roll. Briar is a transfer from Mineral Area and majors in Elementary Physical Education.
At MAC Briar played in a total of 22 games making 1 start against Northwest Mississippi. Averaging 4.5 points per game, shot 30.8% from the field, 12.5% from the 3pt, 78% from the FT line, 4.8 rebounds. Her season high in scoring was against Three Rivers where she played 31 minutes and sunk 11 points, four of those points were off free throws where she went 100% from the line. What the coaching staff has to say: “Briar is a great addition to the lineup. Her leadership qualities will help this young team form an identity. Having one year experience with our Region 16 she is familiar with the level of competition we face.”
Marta Zori Canora a 5’7” guard from Barcelona, Spain. Marta attended I.N.S La llauna. Marta played for the Spanish basketball program CB Granollers. Marta will be studying Exercise Therapy. What the coaching staff has to say: “Marta, was a great catch, she is a natural born leader and lives and breathes basketball, and I believe she will be a difference maker for us.”
Agustina Talasimov “Agus” a 6’1” stretch forward/ guard from Lloret de Mar, Girona, Spain. Agus attended INS Rocagrossa, where she played for CB Igualada and helped her team win the Catalan championship twice (2013-14 and 2014-15), and second (2017-18). She was named the top scorer of her club for two consecutive years (2012-2013). Agus will be studying Engineering at Jeffco. What the coaching staff has to say: “Agus is special because she suffered an injury not too long, but has made huge strides to rehab and stay fit. I am excited to see what she will bring to the court; she is such a dynamic player.”
Kwanisha Carroll- Quarles “Nisha” a 5’10” guard/ forward from Belleville West High School will be a familiar face on the court as Nisha participates in both the volleyball and basketball teams at Jeffco. During Nisha’s time at Belleville West she was a four year varsity letter in three sports. Her senior year she was a scholar athlete, team captain and received 3rd Team All-Conference. What the coaching staff has to say: “Nisha, has her work cut out for her this year being a double sport player. I believe she can handle it though, she’s tough!”
Makayla Smith a 5’9” stretch forward/ guard from Pontiac, Michigan. Makayla played for Rochester Adams High School where she was a member of the basketball and volleyball teams and was a member of several extra-curricular clubs. When Makayla joined the volleyball team she was awarded Most Improved in 2014. Her junior season her team was district champs. Makayla was Varsity team captain her junior and senior’s year as well as a Member of the 1st Team All-League OAA Red Division and MVP. Smith was also president of the Diversity Club and member of HOSA and Interact Club’s at Rochester. Makayla will be study pre-physical therapy at Jeffco. What the coaching staff has to say: “Makayla was a huge signing for us, she is such a versatile player! We will be able to stretch the floor a lot more with her. Great shooter and a smart player”.
Tyra Brown a 5’7” guard from Pattonville High School. Tyra was a standout player at Pattonville snagging 1st Team All-Conference all four years. She was also a McDonald’s All-American Nominee. Her leadership abilities on the court will transfer to Jeffco as she was a team captain for 2 years and MVP all four years. Tyra also succeeds in the classroom earning a part of the Minds in Motion at Pattonville where she maintained a 3.0 while playing a sport. What the coaching staff has to say: “Tyra was our first recruit here at Jefferson, she plays with so much fire and her basketball IQ is something we will look forward to having since we will have such a young team.”
Jordan Brown a 5’7” guard from Affton High School who will be studying nursing at Jeffco. Jordan was a standout player at Affton High School she was a member of the 1st team all-conference team, MVP, 1st Team All-District and All-Tournament her junior season. What the coaching staff has to say: “We were lucky to recruit Jordan, I believe Jordan has been overlooked in the past but I think she will be our secret weapon, she’s strong and can really get to the basket.”
Amber Kettering a 5’6 guard from Des Moines, Iowa. Kettering attended Valley High School. Amber is familiar with being a part of a championship team. Her freshman year her team was a semifinalist state tournament. Her junior year the team returned to state and won and her senior year her team qualified for state. During Amber’s time at Jeffco she will be studying phycology. What the coaching staff has to say: “Amber will be a huge spark for us, she’s a great shooter but more importantly a strong defender.”
Madison Lucas a 5’6 guard from Caledonia Valley High School. Madi is an A+ student and Dickey Family Scholar. On the court Madi received the 110% award, lead her team in charges and was a KFMO Player of the Game in 2016. The following season she again led her team in charges, and was a two time Defensive player of the year. Her senior year she led her team as team captain and was on the 2nd Team All-Conference, All-District, and the Most Steals. Madison is going to be studying education during her time at Jeffco. What the coaching staff has to say: “Madison was a diamond in the rough. She has a great understanding of the game and is a really great shooter. I think her and Amber will be a great duo.”
Tajza Pratcher a 5’8” guard from Cahokia, Illinois transfer from MCC Penn Valley. Tajza’s freshman year at MCC Penn Valley, she saw the floor 20 times. She averaged 2 points per game, shot 36.8% from the field, 40% from the 3pt, 57.9% from the free throw line, and averaged 1.4 rebounds per game. Her season high was against Graceland University JV where she netted 12 points, going 2-4 at the three point and 5-7 from the field. In high school at Cahokia Tajza won MVP both her junior and senior year. What the coaching staff has to say: “I’m happy to have Tajza this season. Since we are such a young team this year it will be good having Tajza on the floor with her experience.”
Ton Quasha Hayes a 5’3” guard from Hayti, Missouri High School who plans to study physical therapy. In a small town Ton Quasha was a standout earning Guard of the Year in 2014, MVP in 2013, lead her team in the most assistant her senior season, Most Improved in 2015, was a part of the all-state team her senior year, All Conference and All District Co- MVP in 2016. What the coaching staff has to say: “Quasha is just a relentless player, she is small but has a huge heart. She does not back down and every team needs a player like that.”
The Vikings will also add one more international, Gemma Ruiz Garcia a 6’3” post player from Spain she will be a great addition for our inside out game and be able to get physical down low. What the coaching staff has to say: “It’s great to have someone with Gemma’s size, she has so much potential and I look forward to watching her grow into her own for the next 2 years.”
Vikings Moving On
Jefferson College team captain and leading scorer Shannyn Triplett will be continuing her education as well as basketball career at Lincoln University of Missouri. Shannyn will be studying Nursing. We know Shannyn will do great things for the Blue Tigers. Shannyn was team captain 2017- 2018, as well as the leading scorer averaging 14 points per game. Triplett was a member of the Student Athlete Leadership Team (SALT), representing Basketball. Triplett was also named to the MCCAC 2nd Team All-Conference. Shannyn is from Florissant, Missouri and attended Hazelwood Central High School.
Irene Perez- Sopena faced adversity these past two seasons at Jefferson College, but her obstacles never stopped her. Irene recently received NJCAA Pinnacle Award for Academic Excellence, the Never Give Up Award and lastly received highest honors of summa cum laude. Irene will continue her education at Nebrija University as well athletic career at Yunquera Club. Irene will have three years of eligibility left after red shirting her sophomore year at Jeffco. Irene will study Physical Therapy/ Medicine.
Izze Ringling will be attending Lindenwood University St. Charles to continue her education in teaching. Cheyenne Randle will be continuing her education at TSU where she will study business.
Rise above Adversity 3/6/2018
The Vikings Women’s Basketball Team finished up their season February 27th at Crowder; the Vikings finished 5-19 overall and 0-9 in conference. This year the ladies had to deal with many adversities on the team with a brand new coaching staff and nagging injuries that lasted the entire season; concluding the season with five healthy players the women’s basketball team has shown the true meaning of adversity.
The will to never give up or quit and still show respect on the court did not go unnoticed by fellow coaches. The team was nominated by the MCCAC for The Sportsmanship Award. “I am really proud of the young ladies that ended the season. Although this was not an ideal year for everyone the girls showed heart and class during and after every game,” said Head Coach Ashley McGee.
Team Captain, Shannyn Triplett also was nominated to the All-Region 16 2nd Team. During the 2016-2017 season Triplett ended the season playing in all 30 games making 13 starts. She was fourth in scoring, averaging 10.2 points per game. Triplett also was given the honors of 17-18 2nd Team MCCAC All-Conference. This year Shannyn has lead the team all season starting in all 24 games, averaging 14.2 points per game. Shannyn is a hard worker and showed up everyday at practice to get better! Triplett is still searching for a four-year college to call home next year where she can continue her education in Nursing as well as her basketball career.