Three Conway High School girls basketball players who signed Wednesday plus two others who will sign next week will keep the Lady Cats batting average at 1.000 this year.
All eight of Conway’s seniors will get the chance to play college basketball.
Signing Wednesday were Savannah Lowe (University of Central Arkansas), Fut’ra Banks (LSU-Shreveport) and Eryka Lewis (Southwestern College of Kansas). Brianna and Alyssa Wells plan to sign next week to play for Southwest Assemblies of God College in Texas, whose head coach is former UCA Sugar Bear assistant Tiffany Phillips.
“We play in the highest level of basketball in the state and even though some of these players are backups and role players, I think people recognize that we have players who are capable of playing at the next level and have played against good competition,” said CHS coach Ashley Nance.
During Wednesday’s signing ceremony for Lowe, Banks and Lewis, Nance noted one distinct quality for all three.
“There were a lot of wins but I think of the work ethic,” Nance said. “They all had a great work ethic. They met me halfway every single day and it hasn’t been easy. All four are from unbelievable families. All athletes should be lucky enough to have families like these.”
The last four seasons, Conway has won one state 7A title, was runner-up twice and was eliminated in the quarterfinals last season.
Nance had special memories of all three who signed Wednesday.
“She was the first ninth-grader we brought up to the varsity and she played a part in our championship,” Nance said. “She guarded Jordan Danberry (now at Mississippi State) every day in practice. She spent time around some talented players and she made our starters better.
“She had a good sophomore year and by her junior year, she just took off.
“What I really liked about her was if we were in the weight room or the court, she’s gonna be the first person out there and the hardest worker I’ve had the last four years. She’s works to be the best she can be almost to a fault and she’s an honor student.”
“Fu’Tra is loved by everyone on the team; she was the team clown while taking the things she needed serious,” Nance said. “She makes everybody laugh, on and off the court. That was her role. She kept things light-hearted and all her teammates love her because she kept things fun.
“She also worked hard to develop physically. As a sophomore, she couldn’t make a 3 to save her life, but she worked on her outside shot because she had to because she was undersized at the post (5-9). She became a good 3-point shooter her senior year.”
Lewis broke a foot just as she was beginning to blossom near the midpoint of the season.
“She was really developing into a leader, both in the locker room and practice,” Nance said. “She held people accountable. And when she spoke up and said things, people followed.”
Signing during the early period were Jacie Higgins (Arkansas Tech), Maggie Evans (SAU) and KK Ashworth (Central Baptist College).