Velva hoopsters sign with WSC

Velva girls basketball standouts Jaylen Newman and Emma Keller signed to play for Williston State College on Wednesday, WSC coach Luanne Axelson said.

Newman, a 5-foot-11 post, averaged 15.1 points and seven rebounds for the Aggies, who lost in the Region 6 title game to eventual state champion Bishop Ryan.

“She gets after it, has great post awareness,” Axelson said. “She can post up and can turn and face, too. That’s a great asset in a post. You don’t want them to be one-dimensional.”

Keller, an athletic 5-7 guard, was named the Region 6 senior athlete of the year. She spearheaded the Aggies’ pressure defense with a team-leading 5.2 steals per game.

“If you watched any of her games, she’s just a pest, she’s everywhere,” Axelson said. “Great hustle, she handles the ball well and sees the court. You always need a player or two players that give it their all on defense, and that’s what she’s about.”

Axelson said Newman and Keller are well-suited to the Tetons’ uptempo style because they played in a similar system with Velva.

WSC loses all but three of its players from a team that qualified for the 2013 NJCAA national tournament.

– Daily News Staff