Barton women’s basketball Coach Alan Clark released the names of seven players who have signed to play for the Cougars next season.
The signings will replace six sophomores who departed from a team that made it to the quarterfinals of the Region VI tournament.
Six of the seven girls played high school basketball in Kansas with five earning all state honors. Two led their teams to the state tournament and one leaves as the all-time leading scorer at the school.
Jaylin Stapleton from Meade High School is a 4-time All-State player, including first team All-State her final three years with the Buffaloes. She helped Meade to the state tournament all four years, including a third place finish at the 2A state tournament this past season.
Stapleton, a 5-5 point guard, averaged 21 points, three assists and four steals a game as a senior. She broke the school record for scoring at Meade, netting more than 1500 points in her career.
“Jaylin is the point guard we wanted all year,” Coach Clark said. “We are very excited she chose Barton. She loves to compete and is very skilled. She makes everyone around her better.”
Another first team All-State selection signing with the Cougars is Taylor Regan from Otis-Bison. This past season she led the Cougars to the school’s best finish ever at state with a third place effort. She was named all-state both her junior and senior seasons.
Regan, 5-10, scored 25 points a game, grabbed eight rebounds, handed out five assists and collected five steals per game as a senior. She is also the defending state champion in the 1A long jump and placed third in the triple jump.
“Taylor is a fantastic young lady and excellent athlete,” Coach Clark said. “She played all five positions for Otis-Bison which makes her very versatile. We are absolutely thrilled she is joining the Barton family.”
Another western Kansas guard joining the Cougars will be Madison Dirks from South Gray High School in Montezuma. Dirks is a 2-time All-State performer at Class 1A, garnering second team honors this past season.
Dirks, a 5-10 shooting guard, scored 17 points a contest, grabbed six rebounds and handed out the three assists.
“Madison if an excellent shooter,” Coach Clark said. “She has great length which will allow her to develop into a top defender. She can score with either hand around the basket and we are very happy she is continuing her education and basketball career at Barton.”
Ryen White, a 5-10 wing from Ottawa High School, is another All-State performer. This past season White scored 15 points a game and averaged 7.4 rebounds and 3.6 assists while earning All-Conference and second team All-State at Class 4A.
“Ryen is extremely athletic with great length,” Coach Clark said. “She has tremendous potential to be an impact player for us. As talented as she is on the court, she is even a better person off the court.”
Mallory Miller is a 5-8 shooting guard from Goddard Eisenhower High School. This past season she she scored 19.8 points per game and grabbed 6.8 rebounds a contest for the Tigers. She was a third team All-State pick at Class 5A and was a first-team All-Conference pick.
“Mallory is one of the best pure shooters in the state,” Coach Clark said .”She can also put the ball on the floor and has a really high basketball IQ. We are very fortunate to be able to sign Mallory.”
Jeanna Dixon will head to Barton from Centennial High School in Oklahoma City. She was an All-City and All-Conference player who was named the Offensive Player of the Year her senior season in her conference. She scored 25 points a contest.
“Jeanne is a talented shooter and scorer who gives us great length at the guard position,” Coach Clark said. “She was also the class president and Homecoming Queen. That tells you the quality of young lady she is and how diverse her talents are.”
The final signing to date is Leila Blackburn, a 5-10 forward from Life Prep Academy in Wichita. She is originally from New Zealand.
Those seven will join returning players Micaela Jellison, Juliana Chagas and Lauren Welsch. Coach Clark expects to add some more signings over the summer. Most of those will be from out of state as he looks to add more point guard and post depth.