From staff reports
Terai Sadler, a 5-foot-11 sophomore from Waitara (New Zealand), is making a major impact in basketball at Crowder College.
That isn’t a total surprise to Lady ’Rider coach Tina Robbins. Sadler was a solid contributor in 2011-12 as Crowder finished 23-9 and runner-up to Iowa Western in the NJCAA Division I Region 16 playoffs.
Crowder (13-4), in its first outing against a Region 16 opponent this season, entertains 15th-ranked Mineral Area College (16-1) at 2 p.m. today in Bob Sneller Gymnasium.
“I believe Terai (Sadler) is an NCAA Division I player,” Robbins said Friday. “She’s a face-the-basket type who can score and rebound. She can consistently hit from 15 feet.
“She’s a good defensive player, too,” Robbins said. “For us, she can guard any of the spots on the court.
“She works very hard,” Robbins said of Sadler. “You will become a better player normally because of work ethic and competitive drive.
“She loves to compete. She has a toughness about her,” Robbins said. “She’s very intelligent. She’s liked by her teammates and appreciated. She’s very, very unselfish. She cares about winning.”
Sadler, through 15 games, was pacing Crowder in scoring (15.4) and rebounding (9.6). She had eight double-doubles in those categories. She also led the team in field goal percentage (55.3) and accuracy from the foul line (83.5).
Sadler was second in assists with 43 to 5-6 freshman leader Camila Lacerda’s 91 and second in steals with 28 to Lacerda’s 33.
“She’s improved from last season,” Robbins said of Sadler. “She’s stepped up her scoring. She didn’t look to shoot as much last season. But now we need her to score more.”
Robbins said that Caleb Harrison, former assistant coach at Southwest Baptist, helped her contact Sadler’s high school coach in New Zealand. Harrison, also from New Zealand, is in his first season as head coach at Dickinson State (N.D.).
Harrison also was a help in recruiting Jordan Hunter, Robbins said. Hunter, All-American sophomore at Crowder in 2011-12, is at Southeast Missouri.
Terai, the daughter of Pua and David Sadler, logged a 3.91 GPA last year as a general studies major.
There was nothing concrete from Sadler in regard to her destination as a player in 2013-14. But Sadler said her home was some two minutes from the beach.
Warm weather and beaches could be important factors in her future.
Mineral Area notes: Robbins said the visitor (Park Hills, Mo.) shoots the ball very well (about 40 percent from 3) and it has a solid inside player in 5-11 freshman Chelsea Roberts of Australia. Top guard, she said, probably is 5-7 veteran point Janelle Travis (a transfer from West Point). Robbins said Mineral Area has split two games with Southwestern Illinois of Belleville. Oddly, each team won on the other’s floor.