Motlow Women’s Basketball Set to Open Season Nov. 10

2017-2018 Motlow Lady Bucks Basketball Team

Fresh off the first trip to the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) tournament in program history, and featuring its sixth head coach in the past eight years, the Motlow women’s basketball program has its sights set on a return to the national tournament with the start of the 2017-18 season two weeks away.

Head Coach LaTanya Collins arrived at Motlow July 17, replacing Bart Walker, who coached one season at Motlow before accepting a position at Northwest Florida State. Collins has worked hard to recruit quality student-athletes to fill the squad despite the late beginning to the recruiting cycle. With 11 names listed on the roster, the Lady Bucks began finding out where they stand with multiple scrimmage contests during the month of October.

Early indications are that Collins has the Lady Bucks on the right track. After a pair or road trips to high-level junior college preseason events, one in Atlanta and one in Chicago, the Lady Bucks put six wins together without a defeat.

The Collins era will officially open on Friday, Nov. 10, when the Lady Bucks join the men’s team for a trip to Jackson to face Tennessee Community College Athletic Association (TCCAA) rival Jackson State. The following day, both teams play at Columbia State, another TCCAA opponent. The first chance to see the Lady Bucks at home is Nov. 15, when they host the Martin Methodist College JV at 5:30 p.m. at Copperweld Arena.

Collins has built her first Motlow roster around a pair of returning players who saw spot duty during the program’s outstanding 2016-17 campaign, which featured 27 wins, tying the program’s all-time record, a runner-up finish in the TCCAA tournament, and that wild-card invitation to the NJCAA tournament. Last year’s squad was ranked No. 18 in the nation by the NJCAA at the conclusion of the regular season.

Miranda Boutwell, a 5-8 guard from Linden, Tenn., who played her prep basketball at Perry County High School, returns after an injury-shortened season last year that saw her play in 14 games and average three points per contest. Also returning is Jewel Ledbetter, a 5-10 guard from Maryland who played in 18 games and averaged three points and one rebound per game.

Along with those two returnees, Collins has brought in four freshmen, four sophomore transfers, and will borrow one former Tullahoma Lady Cat from Motlow’s soccer roster.

The group of four freshmen includes two from Tennessee and two from outside the state. Mattie King is a 5-5 guard from Hohenwald who played at Lewis County, and Chantel Maxwell is a 5-7 guard who played her prep ball at LaVergne in rugged District 7-AAA. They are joined by Janna Lewis, a 5-9 freshman from Butler High School in Louisville, Ky., and Brianna Jones, a 6-4 post player from Waverly, Va.

Sophomore transfers include Tajah Clark, a 5-7 guard from Clayton, N.C., who played her first season at Fayetteville State University; Lynchawn Ebron, a 5-2 point guard from Washington D.C., who spent her first year at Mississippi Valley State; Joy Porter, a 6-2 post from Little Rock, Ark., who played one year at Independence Community College; and Jasmine Williams, a 6-3 post from Irvington, N.J. who spent last year at Lackawanna Community College.

The final piece of the Lady Bucks’ puzzle is 5-3 guard Anastasia Wellington, who started for four years at Tullahoma and has spent the first part of the academic year as a starter on Motlow’s soccer team. Wellington, who was recruited by Motlow for basketball when she came out of high school two years ago, sat out sports for a year and is only a freshman athletically, although she is in her second year of classes at Motlow.

Collins has added Tyler Dandridge and Chatney Spencer to her staff as assistant coaches, and former Motlow softball player Jamaica Johnson will serve as the team’s manager.

The Lady Bucks finished the 2016-17 season with a 27-6 record, tying the school record for wins with the 1989-90 squad. In addition to receiving an at-large bid to the national tournament, the Lady Bucks played in the TCCAA tournament championship game, falling to Walters State 58-49.

Visit the official website of Motlow Athletics at MotlowSports.com for rosters, schedules, stats and more. Interact with Motlow Athletics on social media at MotlowSports.