Hilda Garcia is coming home.
The former Ignacio High School and Durango High School girls basketball star played one season at Otero Junior College. She is one of three Rattlers moving on to play in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference, as Grace O’Neill signed with Regis University and McClain Walker is off to Colorado Christian University. Garcia, a 2018 DHS graduate, will come to Fort Lewis College.
“We are excited to get a local player back to Durango,” FLC head coach Jason Flores said. “Hilda improved a lot last year, and we look forward to her being a dynamic wing player for us down the road.”
In 25 games last season, Garcia averaged 10 points per game. She shot 37.3% from the field and 32.7% from 3-point range. She shot nearly 90% from the foul line and also had 3.2 rebounds and 1.3 assists per game.
The 5-foot-10 guard started 23 games and had 28 steals. She had a season-high 19 points against Northeastern on Jan. 30, as she made 7-of-13 shots and 5-of-8 from 3-point range.
Garcia is one of seven new additions to the Skyhawks’ roster going into the 2019-20 season.
FLC lost seniors Alyssa Yocky and Morningrose Tobey from last year’s team. Sophomore Tanisha Begay also moved on to Arizona State University for academics, and redshirt freshman Kailan Mitchell was let go from the program.
The Skyhawks went 13-15 overall last season and 9-13 in Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference play. A young, gritty team punched above its weight much of the season and answered multiple forms of adversity. With all of that experience and a class of seven new players going forward, Flores likes the direction of the program.
“We are really excited about this class,” he said. “It’s a mix of players who will be here their whole career and some transfers with experience. We had some positions of need that we addressed and have players that are capable of being major contributors right away.
“With a good core of returners that gained much needed experience last year combined with this class, we are very excited about the future of Skyhawk basketball.”
Here’s a closer look at the other six players joining FLC:
Bailey Osmer, junior guard, Ottawa UniversityA transfer from an NAIA school in Arizona, the 5-foot-9 Phoenix native has already shown she can make shots. She started all 44 games of her career with the Spirit and averaged 32 minutes per game.
Osmer had a season-high 36 points last season against Arizona Christian. She scored 20 or more points five times and averaged 15.6 points per game to go with 6.3 rebounds. She shot 43.5% from the field.
As a freshman, she averaged 13.7 points per game. She also has highly active hands with 102 career steals in 44 collegiate games.
“Bailey was the NAIA Region Player of the Year last year at Ottawa and brings experience and versatility to us,” Flores said. “She can play in the perimeter and has a real strong mid-range game.”
Alison Chanhthala, sophomore guard, College of Southern IdahoChanhthala has played her entire career in Idaho and will join FLC in Durango this season. The 5-foot-7 guard started 14 games last season and averaged 4.2 points per game to go with 2.1 rebounds on a team that went 19-12 overall at the junior college level.
“Alison is a strong point guard but can also play multiple positions if needed,” Flores said. “She can attack the lane to score herself or create for others. She can also knock down perimeter shots. Beyond that, she is a great individual defender which will bring a lot of great dynamics to our team.”
Chloe Warrington, junior forward, Phoenix Junior CollegeWarrington averaged 11 points per game and shot 34.2% from the floor and 90% from the foul line at Phoenix Junior College. The 5-foot-11 forward also grabbed nearly five rebounds per game.
She started 19 of 26 games and showed an ability to make 3-pointers at a high volume with 101 makes.
“Chloe is a player who will help everyone on the floor because she will stretch the defense with her ability to be a knock down 3-point shots,” Flores said. “She can also take advantage of mismatches inside with her size.”
Jordan Vasquez, freshman forward, Farmington High SchoolOne of the best recruiters of Four Corners talent, Flores added Vasquez out of nearby Farmington High School.
Vasquez helped the Scorpions to a 22-9 overall record last season and a quarterfinal appearance at the state tournament. She led the Scorpions with 18.8 points per game and was a fierce rebounder inside at 6-foot tall.
“We feel that Jordan is going to have a great career here,” Flores said. “She is a versatile scorer inside and can stretch the defense to the perimeter as well.”
Marieka Dent, freshman guard, Clark High SchoolOut of Las Vegas, New Mexico, Dent was a four-year varsity player who averaged double-digit scoring every year since she was a sophomore. The 5-foot-7 guard does more than score, as she was able to dominate in every phase of the game.
“Marieka filled the stat sheet in high school, and that is what she is capable of,” Flores said. “She does whatever is needed for the team to be successful, and that is a great attribute.”
Helen Gover, freshman guard, Centaurus High SchoolFlores added an in-state freshman in Gover, a 5-foot-6 guard out of Lafayette.
Gover missed her senior season with an injury. As a sophomore, she averaged 10.6 points per game.
“When healthy, she was one of the best shooters in the state,” Flores said. “She will get here, get healthy and be a great weapon from the perimeter.”