Eight recruits to the Snow College women’s basketball team, including four from Bingham High School (center), show off their National Letters of Intent to join the Badgers this Fall.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, April 25, 2013
EPHRAIM, Utah—This past year the Bingham High School Miners girls’ basketball team won its first 23 games before being upset 41-38 by Layton in the Utah 5A semifinals. And just why is this important to basketball fans at Snow College? The reason is that four of the top players from Bingham, including the team’s point guard and top three scorers, are among eight high school players who have signed to play at Snow starting this fall.
Snow’s incoming freshman class includes the four players from Bingham (South Jordan, Utah) -- Jillian Powell, Ashton Henderson, Mackenzie Bruggeman and Madison Aulai-Roe -- along with: Sloane Roundy (Richfield HS, Richfield, Utah); Whitney Saunders (Riverton HS, Riverton, Utah); Aleksa Gappmayer (Maple Mountain HS, Spanish Fork, Utah); and Hailey Greenwood (Star Valley HS, Grover, Wyo.).
"I’m very pleased with our 2013 recruiting class,” said Snow head coach Natalie Visger. “They are competitive young ladies who are used to winning. They possess a high skill set and solid basketball knowledge. These girls come from excellent programs and understand ‘team’.”
Sloane Roundy (5’7” guard) was a three-year starter at Richfield, helping the Wildcats win state championships in her freshman and senior seasons along with region championships all four years. As a senior she led Richfield in steals (3.5 spg), assists (4.7 apg) while averaging 9.3 points per game and leading her team in 3-pointers. “Sloane is used to winning and she will bring that mentality to our team,” Visger said. “She sees the floor extremely well and sets up others for easy baskets.”
Whitney Saunders (5’11” forward) scored nine points and pulled down 12 rebounds earning the Tournament MVP nod as Riverton defeated Layton 41-37 to win this year’s 5A state championship. She averaged 12.3 points per game to be named to the 5A All-State First Team. She was named to the 5A Second Team as a junior when she averaged 10.8 points per game. “Whitney is an assertive player both on offense and defense,” commented Visger. “She can play both inside and out, and will help us tremendously on the boards and with her shooting touch.”
Aleksa Gappmayer (5’9” guard/forward) is the first player (boy or girl) to score 1,000 career points in Maple Mountain history where she was a four-year starter and a team captain all four years. She averaged double figures and led the Golden Eagles in scoring each of her last three years, including an average of 16.9 points per game while pulling down 7.3 rebounds per game as a senior. Gappmayer was a 4A First Team All-State player as a sophomore and was named to the 4A Second Team after both her junior and senior seasons. “Aleksa is a student of the game and a competitor,” said Visger. “She will do whatever it takes to be successful. She can really shoot the three and will help our versatility on the perimeter.”
Hailey Greenwood (5’6” guard) is the only incoming player from outside Utah, coming from Grover, Wyo., where her 24 points led Star Valley High School to a 3A state championship in her senior season. Greenwood scored a career total of 1,143 points, averaging 13.3 points per game on 54 percent shooting as a senior. Greenwood was named to the Wyoming All-State team each of her last three years in high school. “She's the definition of a point guard,” her high school coach Robert Erickson said. “And she's a nightmare on defense.”
Jillian Powell (5’9” guard) led the Bingham Miners in scoring with 12.8 points per game as a senior, averaging a team-high 1.8 three-pointers per game. She was named Region 4 MVP and 5A All-State First Team as a senior, and she was named to the 5A All-Tournament team as the Miners lost their first game of the year in the semi-finals. Powell shoots 78 percent from the charity stripe and was good on 41 percent of her three’s as a senior. “Jillian has a tremendous skill set,” says Visger. “She is very well rounded offensively and defensively and makes those around her play at another level. She can change a game and her teammates will enjoy playing with her.”
Ashton Henderson (5’9” guard/forward) was the second high scorer for the Bingham Miners this past season, averaging 8.3 points per game. Like Powell, she was a three-year starter for the Miners and was named to the 5A All-State Second Team as a senior after being Honorable Mention as a junior. Henderson was team captain her last two years. “Ashton has a knack for getting to the rim and free throw line, scoring in a variety of ways,” Visger said. “On top of that, she is a defensive stopper with her size and length.”
Mackenzie Bruggeman (6’0” forward) was right behind Henderson with 8.2 points per game this past season for Bingham, and also pulled down 4.8 rebounds per game, earning selection to the 5A All-State Third Team. Bruggeman finished her high school career with 293 rebounds. “Mackenzie already has the ability to finish with her back to the basket over both shoulders,” Visger stated, “And has a fluid shot facing the basket. She has a great attitude and love for the game.” Visger is pleased with Bruggeman’s technique, saying, “She has some nice moves and good rhythm for a post which is hard to find with high school kids.”
“Madison (Aulai-Roe, 5’6” guard) is a total team player, a floor captain,” said Visger of the fourth Bingham Miner to sign with the Badgers for the coming season. “She embraces the point guard role and loves to defend and harass the person she is defending.” Though Aulai-Roe did not put up the scoring numbers her teammates did, she was named team MVP this season and was a team captain in her junior and senior years. She led her team in assists and steals and was 5A Honorable Mention in her senior year.
“The Bingham girls are the ultimate teammates and they will have their own instant chemistry, but more importantly they won't be afraid to include others in a team atmosphere and work together with new teammates,” Visger said.
“All eight recruits know how to win and to compete, and will do whatever it takes to be successful,” summarized Visger. “These eight will blend nicely with the five we have coming back.” Returning for their sophomore years at Snow are guards Amber Daly and Kobe Farrer, forward Sydney Webb, along with post players Emily Howey (6’3”) and Lyssa Hanks (6’4”).
Snow College won the 2012 NJCAA Region 18 title in Visger’s first year and represented the district in the national championship tournament in Salina, Kan. It was a rebuilding year for Snow in 2012-13, finishing 10-20, but a SWAC tournament win over USU-Eastern, which had beaten the Badgers three times during the regular season, could provide momentum into the coming season.
-- Doug Johnson, Snow College Sports Information Dept., Ephraim, UT (435) 283-7320