Nov. 13, 2013
CULLOWHEE, N.C. - Western Carolina Head Women's Basketball Coach Karen Middleton announced the addition of five Catamounts for the 2014-15 season: Antaijah "ACE" Easter (Bandys High School, Catawba, N.C.), JonTay Mitchem (Ridgeview High School, Columbia, S.C.), Sherae Bonner (Central High School, Carrollton, Ga.), Kyria Hough (Lancaster High School, Lancaster, S.C.) and Emily Hatfield (Hendersonville High School, Hendersonville, Tenn.).
Easter, a 5-10 guard, was named Player of the Year for the Southern Piedmont Conference in the 2012-13 season. She was ranked second in the 2A division for the state by Maxpreps and is a three-time all-conference selection. She currently has scored 1,500 points in her three years at North Lincoln High School in Lincolnton, N.C. and averaged 26 points per game last season. This will be her first year playing at Bandys High School. She was also named all-tournament at the People's Bank Christmas Tournament the past three seasons.
"Ace is a skilled guard with size who can score in a variety of ways, "Middleton said. "She can shoot it from deep range, slash and finish at the rim, and has a great mid range jumper."
Mitchem, a 5-6 combo guard, has scored over 1,000 points, pulled down 400 rebounds and dished out 400 assists. She was also an all-state selection in 2012. She was also named all-region in the 2011-12 and 2012-13 seasons and named MVP, and all-tournament, in the 2012 Omni Resort Tournament.
"JonTay will not be outworked," Middleton said. "She is a feisty, competitive combo guard who takes pride in playing defense and can create off the dribble with her athleticism."
Bonner, a 6-2 post, averaged 14.7 points and 11.3 rebounds per game her junior season. She scored 407 points in her junior campaign and her team finished 20-8 and 13-1 in conference.
"Sherae is an athletic 4/5 who can score inside and out," Middleton said. "She runs the floor extremely well and can finish from anywhere on the floor."
Hough, a 5-5 point guard, was a varsity starter in the eighth grade and has been a starter on the team ever since. As a freshman, she was an all-region, team MVP and averaged 13 points and three assists per game. In her sophomore year, she was named all-tournament and all-region averaging 14 points and four assist per game. She missed her junior year due to injury.
"Kyia is a true, scoring point guard. She sees the floor and understands the game," Middleton said. "She is a competitor that takes great pride as a defender and being a complete player. She makes everyone around her better."
Hatfield, a 6-2 post, helped lead her team to a 17-6 record her junior year. At the start of her senior season, Hatfield eclipsed 1,000 points in her career. In her sophomore and junior year, averaged 14 points, nine rebounds and two blocked shots per game. She is a three-year all-county selection and two time all-district pick.
"Emily is an extremely versatile post, Middleton said. "She can hit the three with ease, can score low and can bang against bigger bodies inside. Her versatility and work ethic is a perfect fit to be a Catamount."
"We are extremely excited about our 2014 signing class," Middleton admits. "Our focus going into this class of Catamounts was to bring in high character, hardworking, competitive players that brought athleticism, scoring ability, and a defensive mindset. We definitely accomplished our goal and could not be more excited about our future in Cullowhee with these young ladies."