Niagara Gazette — SANBORN — Niagara County Community College women's basketball coach Nate Beutel restocked his roster Sunday with 12 recruits signing up to join his resurging program.
Leading the pack of incoming Thunderwolves is Jesse DeWaters, a Royalton-Hartland graduate who played at Cortland State last season. The 5-foot-11 wing player averaged 12.2 points, 7.5 rebounds and 7.3 assists in her senior year at Roy-Hart and is expecting to receive a medical redshirt waiver for her three-game freshman season at Cortland.
Beutel is hoping DeWaters can provide the same impact as transfer addition Jessica Curry, who last season averaged 15 points, 11 rebounds and 3.3 assists and was a regional all-star.
DeWaters' commitment allowed NCCC to also land Olivia Kelkenberg, a 6-1 forward from Roy-Hart (19.7 ppg, 9.4 rpg, 3.5 bpg) and Alba Perez, a 5-10 forward from Medina (16.9 ppg, 16.4 rpg, 3.4 spg).
"Olivia can do it all and getting her back to playing with Jesse will take her to a new level. They've played their whole lives together," Beutel said. "Alba Perez is strong as an ox. She has a nose for the ball and gets to the basket without any abandon for defenders. Her, Kelkenberg and DeWaters have been friends for a long time and they are a group that is coming in to play together."
The Thunderwolves lost all but two players from last year's 13-15 team that advanced to the regional playoffs, but they do return regional player of the year Kristine Ripson (Lew-Port).
Niagara Falls senior Maria Faso (5.4 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 1.0 spg) has also signed on to continue her career at NCCC.
"She is a hard-worker that was somewhat overshadowed at Niagara Falls by underclassmen," Beutel said. "Her work ethic and attitude are going to be nice additions to our program."
The Thunderwolves have also recruited: Miranda Aikin from Lake Shore (7.6 ppg, 4.9 spg, 2.8 apg), Michaela Stepniak from Lake Shore (7.0 ppg, 6.1 rpg, 1.7 spg), Tanisha Moyer from Albion (10 ppg, 6.6 rpg, 1.8 spg), Sam Dugo from CSAT (10.4 ppg, 2.0 spg) Caneia Titus from Rochester (7.6 ppg, 3.7 spg, 2.5 apg), Jessica Blocker of Brockport (13.6 ppg, 8.7 rpg, 2.0 bpg), Kaitlin Gorton from Greene (14.4 ppg, 4.3 apg, 2.6 spg), and Kayla Brenz from Schuylerville (9.2 ppg, 8.0 rpg, 6.0 bpg).Follow Jonah Bronstein at Twitter.com/lebronstein