Preview Of 2014-15 Lady Bucks

Motlow Lady BucksThe Motlow Lady Bucks have begun official practice in preparation for the 2014-15 basketball season, the 40th in school history and the first under new head coach Dominic Tharpe. Junior college teams throughout the country practiced for the first time Oct. 1.
After three scheduled scrimmage contests, the Lady Bucks will open the regular season when they welcome non-conference opponent Snead State to Copperweld Arena on Friday, Oct. 31. Tipoff is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. and admission is free.
Before his hiring at Motlow in July, Tharpe spent the previous two seasons as an assistant coach at Dyersburg State, where the Lady Eagles enjoyed the most successful two-year run in school history. Tharpe played for Motlow from 1998-2000 and was an assistant men’s coach during the 2006-07 season.
“I feel that the past few years have allowed me to be very familiar with the TCCAA and its level of competition,” said Tharpe. “Rian Puckett and Bobby Steinburg served as great head coaches and mentors to me during my tenure as an assistant coach on the junior college level. My previous experiences have equipped me with valuable knowledge in turning our program back in the right direction.”
Tharpe has been working hard to create a balanced roster that includes six returning sophomores and seven newcomers. Of the 13 roster spots, eight are filled by players from Motlow College’s 11-county service area. Fans should be familiar with a number of Lady Bucks as the season opens.
Headlining the sophomore class that will be counted on to lead the Lady Bucks are Franklin County alum Chelsea Holman, Huntland’s Alexis Smith, Shelbyville’s Bree Horner, Chloe Neil from Bristol and Sabrina Jackson from Chicago. Nashville’s Jadah Fite sat out much of last season due to injury, but is healthy and expected to be a major contributor.
“Our sophomore class is very hungry to prove that they are better than the previous year,” continued Tharpe. “I honestly feel they are working with a chip on their shoulder to become the best players they can be on and off the court. The experience that they bring to our team has helped the freshmen to make the transition from high school a lot easier.”
Holman, Smith and Neil each played in all 25 games for the Lady Bucks in 2013-14. Smith, a 6-1 post, averaged seven points, 5.8 rebounds and one steal per game. She blocked 31 shots and connected on 5-12 shots from three-point range.
Holman was one of the most consistent players last season, averaging 7.3 points, 3.8 rebounds, one steal and one assist per game. Jackson was the top reserve, coming off the bench to average 6.4 points and 5.5 rebounds per game. Jackson also blocked 41 shots, second on the team which blocked a total of 174 shots.
Neil connected on 27 three-point shots last season and averaged four points and 1.6 rebounds per contest. Horner improved consistently as the season advanced last year, averaging 3.1 points, three rebounds and one assist per game. In limited time, Fite averaged 4.3 points, 2.3 rebounds and one assist.
“Holman, Smith, and Neil all have valuable playing experience in the TCCAA and know what type of grind that the season can bring on and off the court,” Tharpe added. “I feel that each of these players have stepped up their level of commitment and desire to win through the transition of the coaching change. Horner, Jackson and Fite will definitely be key contributors this year. Their work ethic and dedication to our team has been great during the preseason. I expect them to really have breakout seasons and impose their will on opponents this year.”
Newcomers to the Lady Bucks this season include Lauren Brown and Kelsey Munn from Manchester, both of which played their high school basketball at Coffee County.
Tanika Gholston is from Whitwell, Kaitelyn Leverette from Shelbyville, Ashley Kee from Smyrna, Titanisha Lawless from Nashville, and Erin Layne from Tullahoma are also set to begin their first season at Motlow College. Kee and Leverette are sophomores, while the rest are freshmen with two seasons of eligibility.
Most Motlow home games will be broadcast live on Tullahoma’s The Ticket sports radio. Listeners can tune in on the radio at 105.1 FM and AM 740, on the internet at, on a smartphone using the free Tune-In Radio app, and in Tullahoma on LightTUBe channel 11. Video replays can be seen on LightTUBe channel 23.
Visit the official website of Motlow Athletics at for rosters, schedules, stats and more. Interact with Motlow Athletics at and .