University of Sioux Falls head coach Travis Traphagen announced that four high school seniors will join the women’s basketball program next fall. Brynn Flakus, Alyson Johnsen, Samantha Knecht and Katelyn Rushton all signed National Letters-of- Intent during the early signing period for women’s basketball.
“We are very excited to announce our four signees in this class of 2013,” Traphagen said. “This class is a talented group of young ladies on and off the basketball floor. They are also very accomplished academically and will become great ambassadors for University of Sioux Falls.”
Flakus, a 5-foot-9 wing at Aberdeen Central High School, averaged 7.5 points, 4 rebounds and 2 steals for the 17-7 Golden Eagles who wrapped up last season with a 2012 South Dakota “AA” State Consolation Championship. Her three-game tournament average of 9.3 points and 6.7 rebounds was a team-best, and ultimately earned her a spot on the All-Tournament squad. Flakus is a three-time American News All-Area selection and two-time All-Eastern South Dakota Conference pick.
Johnsen, a 5-foot-9 guard from Beresford, S.D, enters her senior season with career averages of 10.4 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists and two steals per game in four seasons at Beresford High School. Shooting a career-high 56% from the field, she helped lead the Watchdogs to a 16-6 mark last season. Johnsen earned All-Tournament honors after guiding Beresford to a second place finish at the 2011 South Dakota “A” State Tournament as a sophomore. She also garnered first team All-Conference and All-Region accolades in 2010-11. Johnsen is a four-time All-Academic team award winner and three-year captain for the Watchdogs. She boasts 668 career points.
Knecht is a 6-foot-2 center who also plays for Aberdeen Central High School. A native of Faulkton, S.D., Knecht prepped at Faulkton High School for two seasons before transferring to Aberdeen Central. In her first season aside future USF teammate Flakus, she led the Golden Eagles with 12 points and 9 rebounds per game. The duo was voted Co-MVPs by their peers. She was also awarded ESD All-Conference honors and named second team All-State last season. Prior to her move to Aberdeen, Knecht was a two-time Lake Region All-Conference selection for the Trojans.
Knecht has also excelled in track and field and volleyball. As a sophomore she claimed second at the State meet in the high jump competition. In volleyball, she is a three-time All-Conference selection (two Lake Region, one ESD) and was a member of last year’s Golden Eagle squad that placed third at the State Tournament. Samantha was recently selected as a state finalist for the Wendy’s High School Heisman competition. She currently holds a 4.0 grade point average and is a member of the National Honor Society.
A 5-foot-10 guard, Rushton is a senior at John Marshall High School (Minn.), where she is on track to become just the fourth player in school history to reach the 1000-point scoring mark. She enters this season with 867 career-points. Rushton averaged 11.7 points, 5.1 rebounds, 3 steals and 2 assists per game for the Rockets last season. A three-year starter, she has earned Big 9 All-Conference honors each of the last three seasons. She claims career averages of 12 points, 6 rebounds, 3 steals and 2 assists per game. Katelyn is the younger sister of current USF standout wing Alyssa Rushton.
“This group will be instrumental to us in our move into the NSIC,” added Traphagen.
The Cougars begin conference play in Marshall, Minn. Saturday when they face Southwest Minnesota State University.
Courtesy: Dennis Gamble, USF