Veteran Newcomers, Plentiful Freshmen Replenish Hawk Roster
All-time winningest Hawk skipper Fred Batchelor has brought another fine crop of talent to The Shore.
Oct. 30, 2017

PRINCESS ANNE, Maryland -

After enduring a plague of injuries last year, Maryland Eastern Shore women's basketball is revived and reloaded to make a run through the 2017-18 season. Seven newcomers join a cast that includes five returners who started at least 10 games during the previous campaign.

Headlining the new additions are two graduate transfers, forward/center Jordyn Smith (Towson) and guard Martha Thompson (Xavier). Junior college forward Dominique Walker (Harford Community College) also adds some size in the post. Four freshmen round off the newcomers, guards Porsha Sydnor and Amanda Carney, and forwards Bairesha Gill-Miles and Angelique Taylor.

"I love the way we're competing," said Hawk head coach Fred Batchelor, now in his 14th season at the helm. "The competition that we've had against each other has shown us to have some depth at every position, and I'm excited to have the chance to compete against others."


 

 

Graduate transfers Jordyn Smith and Martha Thompson arrive in Princess Anne with three years' of Division I experience under their belts. Forward Smith made 21 starts in 29 appearances for Towson in 2016-17, averaging 3.7 points and 4.5 rebounds per game. The Durham, N.C. native earned Colonial Athletic Association Player of the Week honors last November 28, averaging 15.5 points and eight rebounds over two contests against UMBC and George Mason.

Guard Thompson played in 21 games for Xavier last year, posting 1.3 points and 1.3 rebounds per contest. She played in 37 career games for the Musketeers, joining the program after earning a three-star rating out of Solon High School in Bedford Heights, Ohio.

"The biggest thing with fifth-year kids is that it has to be a fit," said Batchelor. "It can't be just about basketball. It has to be a lot more than that. It can be academics, it can be social, it can be that they needed a change. They want to use this as an opportunity to complete their career on a high note."

Bel Air, Md. native Dominique Walker adds more size to a Hawk frontcourt that loses former First-Team All-MEAC selection Moengaroa Subritzky. Walker posted two stellar seasons at Harford, notching 11.1 points and 9.4 boards over 61 career games. As a freshman in 2015-16 she set single-season program records with 292 rebounds and 76 blocks.

"When it comes to transfers, there has to be a need on the roster," said Batchelor. "We were fortunate to get them to come in and play where we had some holes in our roster."

With Hawk point guard Ciani Byrom still recovering from a knee injury that cost the final two months of last season, freshman Porsha Syndor is expected to get time running the floor in the early portion of the schedule. The Chicagoan played at Morgan Park High School, finishing fourth in the state tournament. She also played AAU ball for Mac Irvin Fire at home in Chicago.

"We're going to be relying on Porsha a lot in the non-league schedule," said Batchelor. "She's a tough kid who's learning a lot."

Guard Amanda Carney arrives on The Shore after a sensational career at Old Bridge High School in New Brunswick, N.J. She scored 1,427 points in her career, averaging over 20 points per game over her four seasons. As a senior, she poured in 20 points with four rebounds, five assists, and seven steals per contest to boot.

"Amanda can really put the ball in the basket from deep," said Batchelor. "I love the way she's playing."

Forward Bairesha Gill-Miles is the latest Hawk to arrive from North Carolina after completing a year at Forest Trail Academy. Originally from Lexington, Ky., Gill-Miles paced her team on the glass and led them to a district championship. Gill-Miles' career highs in high school include 32 points and 17 rebounds.

"Out of all the freshmen, I think Bairesha will make the most immediate impact," said Batchelor. "She came out of a program that helped prepare her to play at the next level. She's versatile, she can play the three through the five."

Rounding off the freshman class is guard/forward and Delmarva Peninsula native Angelique Taylor, who graduated from Nandua High School in Wachapreague, Va. Taylor notched 26 points, four assists, three steals, and three blocks per game as a senior. She played her AAU ball even closer to her future home, lacing up for the Lady Roc program in Salisbury.

"What I like about this freshman class is that they're very coachable," said Batchelor. "They're a tough group of kids and they respond well to being challenged. They're learning a lot of new things, but I wouldn't be surprised if each one of them sees an opportunity throughout the year to play and make an impact."

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