By Joey Bennett
TERRE HAUTE — Randa Rector might not have been the Terre Haute South girls basketball player who the other team planned its scouting report around, but her outstanding all-around game has not gone unnoticed by college coaches.
Rector is the third member of this year’s top-10 ranked South team to make her college decision and will play next year for the Vincennes Lady Trailblazers.
She will join former South and long-time AAU teammate Megan Craft at VU, and joins Dragana Grbic (Butler) and Krista Smith (Indiana State) in becoming a college player. Tessa Johnson is also expected to make the leap to the college game but has not yet made a decision.
“Randa this year did everything for the team that she could,” South Coach Dave Cassell said. “Assists, steals, defense ….and toward the end of the year hit some really big shots and free throws in the fourth quarter. She just gives you all that energy.”
Cassell noted that Rector’s 5-10 frame made her a versatile defender for him, and also one for the next level.
“We could put her on anybody’s best guard, and she could stop them,” Cassell said. “She’s long and quick, and that’s pretty rare for a guard in the girls game. She can play a small, quick guard and also has the height and length to not be posted up on.”
Rector averaged over four assists per game this year while only making 47 turnovers, and also averaged 2.8 steals per game.
She admits not planning to play college basketball, but a conversation with Craft changed her plans.”
“Thanks to her, Coach [Harry] Meeks was interested in me,” Rector said. “One of my biggest fears was not going to be able to play with any of my friends anymore, but I’m excited that Megan, who I have played with since fourth grade, will be there to help me.”
South’s early exit from this year’s state tournament also played a factor in Rector wanting to continue her career.
“I wish we would have ended our season better than we did,” she said. “I don’t take losing very well, but It was harder on me knowing that was the last game I was going to play with them and as a Lady Brave. I’m really going to miss the other girls.”
She knows her game will have to continue to improve as the competition level gets even higher.
“I’m glad I decided to play college ball,” she continued. “It will be different than high school, but I think with a little work, I will be ready for it. I’m excited for the basketball season to start again because it ended too short for me. It’s going to be tough to play without the other girls.”
Cassell only served as South’s coach for one of Rector’s four starting seasons, but enjoyed it.
“She’s a catch for Vincennes,” he said. “She didn’t worry about scoring – she was focused in getting the ball where it needed to be and gave us great leadership. It was surely a pleasure to have her for a year.”
Turkey Run senior Meghan Doss will also be a Lady Trailblazer next year.
I I I
n Greene D-1 already — Rockville sophomore softball standout Lindsey Greene has made a verbal commitment to play collegiately for Illinois State, one of the traditional powerhouses of the Missouri Valley Conference.
Last year, Greene led the Rox with a .413 batting average, 19 RBI, two home runs, five doubles, three triples and a 1.44 ERA as a pitcher.
“I chose Illinois State because I loved the coaching staff and the people in general at the university,” Greene told the Daily Clintonian. “They have a great tradition of female athletics and the school is only two hours away. It’s great not only for softball, but for the educational experience as well.”
n Odds and ends — Meyers Leonard, Robinson’s 6-11 junior center who has already made a verbal commitment to the University of Illinois, is averaging 11 points per game this season. On Monday, in a loss to Salem, Leonard had another double-double with 10 points and 12 rebounds, while also recording four assists, two blocked shots and a steal.
n Former Shakamak standout Jared Rehmel had 35 points and seven assists on Wednesday in Olney Central College’s 112-109 win over Lincoln Trail. OCC was 17-10 going into Saturday night’s game with Rend Lake.
n OCC is heavily recruiting Northview senior guard Austin Akers. William & Mary is among the many other schools interested in the services of the combo guard.
n Northview girls standout Spring Raines could be another Wabash Valley standout joining the VU program, as Coach Meeks is also interested in her services. Purdue-Calumet is among the other schools vying for her services.
n Indiana fell 14-4 to West Virginia on Friday in their baseball opener in the Big Ten/Big East Challenge at Bradenton, Fla. Terre Haute North grad Josh Phegley had a huge debut by going 4-5 with an RBI and a run scored.
Joey Bennett is a former Tribune-Star sports reporter and copy editor who now teaches and coaches at Northview High School in Brazil. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org