Mesa women’s hoops team adds nine guards to roster
Taylor Wagner noticed one thing right off the bat when he interviewed for the women’s basketball coaching job at Colorado Mesa University.
“They did a good job recruiting,” Wagner said Wednesday after being hired to replace Roger Walters. “One of our girls who graduated is going to be playing there. She loved it (on her recruiting trip).
“I’ll know someone right away, and she’ll know me. She can filter things to the rest of the girls.”
Walters made sure recruiting was done before he resigned this spring, with nine guards joining the 11 returning Mavericks.
A few of the players are familiar names.
Sharaya Selsor is returning for her senior year after taking last year off, Grand Junction High School graduate Fawn Brady is transferring after a year at Salt Lake City Community College, and Olathe High School graduate Tawni Middleton is one of three incoming freshmen.
Brady started 24 of 31 games for Salt Lake as a freshman, averaging 9.1 points a game, third-highest on the team.
Middleton averaged 17.5 points a game this past season for the Pirates, who placed sixth in the Class 3A state tournament.
Assistant coach Mary Doane said Wednesday the staff went heavy on guards because the Mavs ended the season with only a couple of wing players, and they were stocked with post players.
“We felt like we had some (other) areas to fill,” she said. “We felt like we had a lot (in the post), and I’m sure we’ll look for posts next year to add to that.”
Only Sigl is a senior from the deep group of post players, with two senior guards, Katrina Selsor and Effo Baker.
Wagner laughed that he isn’t technically bringing a player with him, but he’s following one to Grand Junction from LaJunta, where he’s been the coach at Otero Junior College the past eight years.
Taylor Rock, a 5-foot-10 shooting guard from Smithfield, Utah, made 100 3-pointers for the Rattlers and shot 40 percent from the 3-point line this past season.
“She can shoot it,” Wagner said of Rock, who led Region 9 in 3-point shooting.
Kyra Peterson signed out of Western Nebraska College and was second in 3-point shooting in Region 9 until Christmas, when the 5-9 guard tore an anterior cruciate ligament.
Bruna Deichmann is transferring from Alaska-Anchorage, where the 5-9 guard started 14 games and averaged 5.1 points, shooting 38 percent from the field. The Brazil native will be a senior. She started her career at the College of Eastern Utah.
Christen Lopez, a 5-5 point guard from Miles (Mont.) Community College, averaged 7.8 points and had 157 assists to 90 turnovers, starting 29 of 30 games this past season.
“She led Region 9 in steals and assists,” Doane said. “She’s little, about 5-5, but she handles the ball really well.”
Two other prep players signed with the Mavericks, Dani Rinaldo from Merino and Megan Dyer from Horizon.
Doane, whom Walters hired as his only full-time assistant when he got the job, hopes she’ll be retained on Wagner’s staff. CMU Athletic Director Butch Miller said head coaches can opt to retain assistants on staff or hire their own.
Doane met Wagner when he interviewed. She said she was impressed, as were the players.
“All the ones that met him felt they liked everything he had to say,” Doane said. “He’s a good guy, and he treats the girls well. His record speaks for itself. I’d like to stay on.”