Trio of in-state athletes ink NLIs with MT WBB
Lyon, Reuter and Sissom all hail from winning programsNovember 13, 2013 · @MTAthletics
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - Middle Tennessee Women's Basketball Head Coach Rick Insell announced the signing of three student-athletes to National Letters of Intent on Wednesday.
All three players hail from the Volunteer State: Gabby Lyon (Johnson City, Tenn./Science Hill HS), Rebecca Reuter (Cleveland, Tenn./Bradley Central HS) and Abbey Sissom (Woodbury, Tenn./Cannon County HS).
"We've got three amazing student-athletes that fit the needs of our system and they are going to help us take this program to the next level," noted Insell. "We pinpointed them early in recruiting. My staff stayed on top of the situation. They loved our campus. We also loved them and their families."
Lyon guided Science Hill to three TSSAA State Tournament appearances and a pair of runner-up finishes. As a junior, she led the team in blocked shots and ranked second in scoring. The six-foot post also reached 1,000 points in her career on Feb. 19, 2013. The Johnson City native was selected as an All-Conference, All-District, All-Region and All-State Tournament teams twice. She was selected as an All-Northeast Tennessee honoree in 2012 and 2013, while setting the state record for highest field goal percentage in a season (68) in 2012-13.
"Gabby is hard-nosed, very athletic and knows how to win," Insell stated. "When you look at what's taking place in the last three years at Science Hill, they have been to the state tournament three times and to the championship game twice. This past summer, she was very instrumental in the success of the Tennessee Flight program, which is probably the best travel team program in the country. I am very happy what she can do for our program coming in."
Reuter averaged 11.1 points, 10.2 rebounds and 1.7 blocked shots per game in 2012-13, helping Bradley Central to district, region and sub-state titles. The 6-foot-2 forward shot 52 percent from the field and 70 percent from the foul line. A two-time District 5-AAA selection, she helped the Bearettes to three consecutive district titles. Her father Jason played collegiately at Lee University from 1988 to 1992.
"She is one of the most overlooked young ladies in the south," noted Insell. "She's got size. I know her dad, who is her high school coach, lists her at 6'2", but she is closer to 6'4". She has great hands and has a basketball IQ on the post. She passes the ball, runs the floor and handles the ball well in open court. You don't get that a lot with young ladies her size. We are very happy for her upside more than anything. She will come in and give us immediately what we need in the four or five position to go along with Gabby."
Sissom ranks sixth at Cannon Cannon with 1,721 career points. She is also among career leaders with 339 assists and made 36 percent of her 3-point attempts for 256 total treys in her career. The 5'9" guard has career percentages of 51 from the field and 86 from the free throw line. Last season as a junior, Sissom averaged 20 points, three assists, three rebounds and 2.5 steals per game. Sissom has been a two-time Class AA Miss Basketball finalist, a two-time Cannon Courier Female Athlete of the Year, two-time Girls Basketball Player of the Year and a two-time All-State player. She led Cannon County into two TSSAA Class AA State Tournament appearances in 2011 and 2013. She also earned a spot on the All-State Tournament team as a freshman after helping lead the Lionettes to an appearance in the TSSAA Final Four.
"She is a tremendous shooter," said Insell. "More than anything, look at what she has done. She has been in the state tournament two of her three years already. She is a long-range shooter much like Jackie Pickel. She can handle the basketball and play at the one, two or three. She fits our system and is hard-nosed."
The Blue Raiders completed a class where all three student-athletes have competed in the TSSAA State Tournament. Coach Insell believes this helps fit the Blue Raider system.
"All three of these young ladies have taken their programs to state tournaments," noted Insell. "When you go look at the programs they come from and the success that had at the high school level, I am a big believer that winning carries over. We recruit young ladies that know how to win and play team basketball. They know how important it is to be teammates and have teammates."
The three signees are expected to play during the 2014-15 season.
Middle Tennessee Women's Basketball Class of 2014
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