The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

High School Sports

June 28, 2013

Pence named head coach for Diamond girls

Ashley Pence, an assistant the past five seasons at Wichita Bishop Carroll, is the new girls head basketball coach at Diamond High School.

Pence also had state championship softball teams during her seven years in that sport with the Golden Eagles.

Pence said she assisted longtime coach Don Racine and Taylor Steven in basketball.

“I’m very excited,” Pence said of the Diamond opportunity on Friday. “I’ve been able to see the girls in open gym. I know there’s a good core returning.

“It seems like several of the girls have been playing together for a long time,” Pence said. “We’re looking for the seniors to step up and be leaders.”

Pence said she wasn’t sure who will assist in basketball. She is helping Karla Gaines in volleyball as well as teaching physical education.

The former Ashley Ohlman — she’s married to Joe Pence — is a graduate of Emporia (Kan.) High School. She attended Emporia State for a year before securing her undergraduate degree from Baker University of Baldwin City, Kan. She returned to Emporia State for a master’s degree.

Pence, as an all-Heart of America Athletic Conference selection in 2005-06 for Susan Decker at Baker, averaged 15.2 points, 6.75 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 1.6 steals in earning NAIA All-American honorable mention. She shot 45 percent from the field and 72.6 from the foul line.

The 5-foot-9 Pence finished with more than 1,000 career points.

Brian Brimacombe, who was the Wildcats’ head coach in basketball and softball the past 10 years, stayed at Diamond as a teacher. He also is assisting girls basketball coach Jim Moore at Carthage.

“We’re also working together this summer,” Brimacombe said. “It’s fun.”

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