Aug 28, 2013
WEST POINT, N.Y. – Eighth-year Army women’s basketball head coach Dave Magarity introduced five freshmen to this upcoming season’s roster on Wednesday. The Class of 2017 hails from four different states, stretching from coast to coast, and adds much-needed depth to the Black Knights’ low-post lineup while also strengthening Army’s dominant perimeter game.
“I feel this class specifically answered some positional needs,” said Magarity. “If you look at the class, we took one player late in the recruiting period and she’s the only perimeter player. We needed size and depth on the front line and I believe we’ve addressed that. We brought in some great scorers too. My staff really did a tremendous job getting the players we did and we look forward to seeing what they can do.”
Army welcomes the program’s first recruit out of Idaho as 6-foot forward/center Danielle Failor is set to crack the lineup. Failor, the 2013 Idaho Gatorade Player of the Year whose Post Falls High School jersey hangs in the “Ring of Honor” at the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame, averaged 11.1 points per game to go along with 8.8 rebounds per contest during Post Falls’ 2013 5A State Championship season. Failor shot over 50 percent during her final two seasons at PFHS en route to earning back-to-back All-North Idaho Team honors and Inland Empire League first-team plaudits.
“Dani is coming off a terrific senior year at her high school,” said Magarity. “She’s a very versatile forward who has a great knack for scoring. She brings a level of athleticism and toughness that will really help our front line. She’s been very impressive in the early going; she’s a little unorthodox and raw, but has a lot of potential to contribute right away. She gives us versatility that we really haven’t had in the past.”
Failor, who was also an accomplished volleyball player at PFHS, earned the Idaho Top Scholar Award in 2012. At West Point, she is a member of company I-4.
Out of Loomis, Calif., Stephanie Geyer is also a 6-foot forward/center with plenty of credentials. Geyer was a three-year letterwinner at Del Oro High School who had a breakout senior season. The two-time team captain averaged 15.0 points, 7.8 rebounds, 1.2 steals and 1.1 blocks per game during her final year at DOHS and scored over 1,000 points (1,034) in just three seasons on the hardwood. Geyer earned All-Sacramento Metro first-team plaudits in 2013 and was a two-time Sierra Foothill League MVP, sharing the honor in 2012 before earning it solo in 2013.
“Steph is someone we really coveted and zeroed in on because she’s much different than any other player we have,” stated Magarity. “She’s a low-post anchor who is very good around the basket and has a great touch. She does things that are very hard to teach. Coaching post players throughout my career, I know she has some intangibles that once she gets comfortable and settled with the speed of the game, I know she’ll do great things.”
Geyer, who played AAU ball for the Stockton Mustangs, graduated from Del Oro with a 4.0 grade point average and was selected as the California Interscholastic Federation Dale Lackey Scholar-Athlete of the Year in 2013. At West Point, she is a member of company I-3.
Magarity was pleased to pluck another talented forward out of Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley as Bridgette Dougherty comes to West Point after one year at the United States Military Academy Prep School (USMAPS). Dougherty, a 2012 graduate of Southern Lehigh High School, totaled 1,081 career points while collecting a bevy of honors. The Coopersburg, Pa., native earned first team Morning Call All-Area honors as a senior after leading SLHS to its second consecutive league championship. Dougherty averaged 15.3 points per game as a senior to go along with 7.9 rebounds en route to being named to the Colonial League All-Star first team.
“Bridgette is long, big and plays tough,” Magarity remarked. “She comes from really good programs, both in high school and AAU. We look forward to her bouncing back and getting healthy after a year at the prep school.”
Dougherty, who has been squaring off against teammate and 2013 All-Patriot League Rookie Team member Aimee Oertner since junior high school, played AAU ball for the Philadelphia Lady Running Rebels, the same program as former Army standout Erin Anthony ’11. The 2012 Copperhead Grill Scholar Athlete spent last season rehabbing at USMAPS after suffering a knee injury last spring. At West Point she is a member of company D-2.
Rounding out Army’s low-post recruits is Alex Elzinga, a 5-foot-11 forward out of Long Grove, Ill. Elzinga, who graduated from Adlai E. Stevenson High School in 2013, earned All-North Suburban Conference honors in 2013 and was a two-time all-area honorable mention. The Lake County Senior All-Star averaged 7.7 points, 5.7 rebounds and 1.1 blocks per game during her senior season and was part of a group which turned a .500 program into a team which won over 20 games, including a pair of regional titles.
“Alex is a really tough kid,” said Magarity. “She’s a combination forward similar in style to tri-captain Olivia Schretzman. She can face up; Alex plays hard, competes and gives us a solid player out of a great high school program.”
Elzinga, who twice earned North Suburban Conference/Illinois High School Association All-Academic honors, is also a talented artist. At West Point, she is a member of company I-2.
The lone perimeter player added to the roster this season is 5-foot-9 guard Shelby Lindsay out of Pittsburgh, Pa. Lindsay, a late addition to the Class of 2017, graduated from South Park High School in 2013 after scoring 1,620 career points. As a senior, Lindsay averaged 17 points, eight rebounds and seven assists per game en route to leading the Lady Eagles to state and conference titles. She was named the Wendy’s Female High School Heisman of Pennsylvania honoree in 2013 and was a two-time all-state selection. Lindsay also had a successful career on the track, holding the conference record in the 4x800-meter relay, while also competing in the 400- and 800-meter events.
“We were hesitant with Shelby at first just because we had so much depth at her position with last year’s recruiting class, but we just decided she was too good not to take,” said Magarity. “Shelby has been a tremendous addition. She’s tough and has been really impressive so far. She’s a strong ball handler with similar attributes to former Army star Alex McGuire ’09 – that type of strength and ability to finish.”
Lindsay, a four-year class president and National Honor Society member, is the second collegiate basketball player in her family, following in the footsteps of her older sister Laurel, who plays at Edinboro University. Lindsay is a member of company I-1 at West Point.
Army graduated three members from its 2012-13 Patriot League regular-season championship season squad, including two-time leading scorer Anna Simmers. The Black Knights return four of its five starters from a year ago, however, including Patriot League Rookie and Player of the Year Kelsey Minato, who led the conference in scoring during league games with a 16.1 points per game average. Other notable returners include senior Jen Hazlett (9.7 ppg, 5.4 rpg), junior Olivia Schretzman (8.6 ppg, 7.2 rpg) and Oertner, who tallied 81 blocks and a team-high six double-doubles.
The Black Knights have begun individual workouts with the team’s first official practice set for Oct. 2. Army will lift the lid on the 2013-14 season on Nov. 11 at St. Francis (N.Y.), with its first home game set for Nov. 14 against Fairleigh Dickinson. For the entire 2013-14 schedule, click here.