Holtsclaw signs with King College

By Allen LaMountain
ASSISTANT SPORTS EDITOR
alamountain@starhq.com

   On Wednesday afternoon Beth Holtsclaw went from Lady Cyclone to Lady Tornado, with the scratch of a pen. Holtsclaw saw the culmination of four-years of hard work on the prep hardcourt pay off with a basketball scholarship to King College.
   "This is a wonderful feeling, I can't wait to go to King," Holtsclaw said. "I think it's the right opportunity for me. I have a little apprehension, but I think that I can step in and play at the college level."
   Holtsclaw certainly could play at the prep level, as she was the glue that held the Lady Cyclones together until this season, when 'Betsy's team talent level caught up with what Holtscalw had been demonstrating for two years.
   "It was a great season, her senior year," commented Gene Holtsclaw, Beth's dad. "I think she was more consistent this year, and the team had a lot better talent, so she didn't need to try to do it all. I think that made her a better player."
   Holtsclaw played her sophomore and junior season's on teams that not only struggled to win, but struggled merely to compete, as the EHS program was on a down cycle.
   But as the Lady Cyclone talent level rose, Holtsclaw raised her game to match that, averaging better than 14 points-per-game this past season to lead the team.
   Holtsclaw was also the team leader in rebounds and was the player the others looked to at crunch time and especially in the half-court offense.
   For Holtsclaw, the move to King will reunite her with close friend and former youth league teammate Ashley Stocton, the former Cloudland standout that signed with King last year.
   "I'm excited about that," said Holtsclaw. "It will be great to play with some of the girls I competed against in high school and that I grew up with. It's definitely exciting."
   Holtsclaw plans on majoring in nursing.
   For King, the signing of Holtsclaw represents the fifth Carter County athlete to sign with the team. Holtsclaw follows Stocton, Bobbie Blevins (Unaka), Larissa Holtsclaw (Unaka) and Amber Farmer (Hampton) as King signees the last three seasons.
   "For our program one of our priorities is to recruit locally," said Lady Tornado head coach Brad Horstmann. "And we want to get the best in the area, and we feel we have done that in signing Beth."
   For a program coming off a disappointing 12-22 season, the Lady Tornado are ready for a breakout season. Holtsclaw may inherit the spot vacated by senior Mindy Purdy, who averaged 5.93 points-per-game and 4.76 rebounds.
   "We lose two senior post players," said Horstmann. "We were looking at recruiting three or four post players, but we may now be able to concentrate elsewhere. You don't find a lot of 6'1" posts, but a lot of people forget the game is about putting the ball in the basket and we think Beth can do that."
   Holtsclaw had been doing just that at John Treadway gym the past four years, and now will simply take that ability down the road to Bristol -- and to the next level.