By Ted Beale
(WINDSOR, ON) – The St Clair College women’s basketball team has announced the addition of top recruits for the 2015-16 season, as they gear-up to host the CCAA National Championship from March 16 through 19, next spring.
Joining the Saints are locally-grown Aleah Marton, of Amherstburg, and Riley Welsh, of LaSalle, who both competed for the Windsor Valiants JUEL program.
Marton, who is a 5’ 9” combo-guard from General Amherst, was named WECSSAA’s Red MVP this past season and will be taking the Collaborative Nursing program at St Clair in the fall. She will instantly make an impact with her versatility playing point guard, shooting guard, or even small forward.
“Aleah has a high compete level and will bring leadership as well as being a weapon on both ends of the floor,” enthused coach Andy Kiss. “She is an elite athletic player who has played in a winning program at General Amherst.”
The 5′ 11” Welsh is a graduate of St Thomas of Villanova and will play forward for the Saints, providing a rebounding presence on the offensive and defensive glass. Offensively, she can hit the mid-range jumper, but possesses a good first step which will complement the returning post players for St Clair.
“Riley plays with a high motor and edge that will be essential to our success next season,” said Kiss.
The Saints welcome from out of town Leah Beeler from Fort McMurray, AB. The 5′ 8” Beeler is a point guard bringing valuable depth to a vital position.
“Leah has a high IQ for the game while being driven competitively with a high upside,” Kiss said. “She is athletic with explosiveness off the dribble to use her excellent passing skills or make the pull-up shot after a ball screen.”
Also joining the Saints from out of town is Martha Arcia, from John Paul II in London. Arcia is a 5′ 6” point guard who also competed with London CYO U19 Club team, and who will provide more depth with excellent on-the-ball defensive skills.
“Martha will thrive in the Saints’ defensive pressure system, but she also creates well off dribble drive penetration offensively,” said Coach Kiss.
Returning to the team after a year hiatus is Windsor’s former captain, and 5’ 8” shooting guard, Jaide Lyons, who helped guide the Saints to an OCAA Bronze Medal in the 2013-14 season. She is a proven winner with elite athleticism and strong leadership skills.
Jaide will play shooting guard and see time at the small forward position with her skill set. Lyons has the ability to make the mid-range jump shot and has a great burst off the dribble.
“Jaide was a captain and instrumental in us achieving the OCAA bronze medal in 2014,” explained Kiss. “She is a bona fide starting player and a great pick-up for the program.”
The new additions will join a strong returning nucleus that includes 2014-15 OCAA Player of the Year and CCAA All-Canadian Selection Shannon Kennedy, who is back for her 3rd season.
The Lady Saints open their regular season with home games on October 24 vs Sheridan and October 25 vs Humber, who is the defending OCAA Champion. Prior to that, St Clair plays St Lawrence on October 3, Algonquin on the 4th, Henry Ford CC on the 7th, and Macomb CC on the 16th, in pre-season exhibition action.
St Clair will also travel to Montreal to participate in the Dawson College Tournament from January 8 to 10, to start the 2nd half of their season.