The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

April 14, 2012

Aurora's Chadd, Smith to continue basketball careers in college

By Anvil Welch
Globe Sports Writer

— Aurora High School guards Jenna Chadd and Jessica Smith have signed scholarship agreements with Northeastern Oklahoma A&M and Avila, respectively.

Chadd, 5-foot-4, and Smith, 5-8, are joining successful basketball programs.

Miami-based NEO, 23-11 in 2011-12 under Jim Rowland, lost two straight games in the NJCAA Division I Women’s Basketball National Championship at Salina, Kan.

Avila, 22-11 under Larry Williams, finished No. 24 in the final NAIA Division I rankings.

Chadd and Smith were three-year starters for Ryan Yates at Verona before transferring to Aurora for their senior campaign.

Smith and Chadd helped Aurora, 17-11 overall and 6-1 in the Big 8 Conference, win the Class 4 District 12 Tournament at Carl Junction. They lost to Republic in the sectional round of the playoffs.

Three of their losses during the regular season were to conference, Class 3 champion Mount Vernon.

Aurora coach Kevin Besch considered Chadd the point guard of the duo.

“Jenna averaged nearly 15 points and Jessica 13.5,” Besch said. “Jenna probably had more 3s. Jessica utilized the dribble and penetration more than Jenna.

“The Avila and NEO programs, I understand after taking to the coaches, like to push the ball up the floor,” Besch said. “Those girls (Smith and Chadd) like to do that.”

Said Chadd: “Coach Rowland believes I can help out NEO as a 3-point shooter. Point is a possibility. I realize it will be a challenge.

“NEO saw me play last summer (on a traveling team),” Chadd said. “They also watched our team play in the (Greenwood) Pink and White Tournament. I hope to play several games in the summer at NEO.”

Said Besch of Smith: “Obviously, Avila, because she has two brothers playing for them, has been watching her for some time.”

Said a laughing Smith: “At first, I wasn’t so sure. But I’ve become closer to my brothers.”

Zach Smith, 6-4, will be a senior for Rodney Perry. Andrew Smith, 6-3, will be a junior.

Jessica, who plans to major in pre-pharmacy, is the daughter of Barbara and Steve Smith.

Jenna, who plans to major in physical education, is the daughter of Susan and Steve Chadd.