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Shooting prowess, hard work fueling Tipton for C-N hoops


Hard work, excellent grades, selfless team attitude and a love for your college.

Ashley Tipton, former Farragut High School basketball standout shooting guard, has a lot going for her with such qualities and feelings as a sophomore member of the Carson-Newman College Lady Eagles basketball team in Jefferson City.

“She came in here as a non-scholarship athlete, but she’s now on a full scholarship, she earned the scholarship second semester last year ... based on what she did on and off the court,” C-N womens basketball head coach Dean Walsh said. “Off the court” included a 4.0 grade point average.

“She stepped her total game up. Every aspect of her game, her work ethic and all,” Walsh added. “She was like a sponge soaking up everything that was taught to her. She took it to another level.”

Helping the Lady Eagles finish 17-12 last season with 14 starts at shooting guard, Tipton shot 47.3 percent from 3-point range — and her 41 “threes” were second best in the conference last season and second-best in C-N program history, Walsh said.

Tipton averaged 7.5 points per game, shot 45 percent from the field and 80 percent from the free throw line.

“When I first came in it was a big adjustment, but then I think I ended up doing pretty well,” Tipton said, adding “speed of the game” was the biggest adjustment.

As for a highlight of her freshman season, “Probably what she did against Tennessee in that exhibition game last year,” Walsh said of a 16-point effort that included four 4-point baskets, three rebounds and two assists versus the Lady Vols in only 20 minutes of play. “First of all she probably surprised everybody with what she did. ... I don’t know that anybody expected her to be a starter and do what she did.”

At C-N through the summer taking a class, Tipton, 19, said she lifts weights most every day, runs two miles twice a week and does a Speed, Agility and Quickness training regiment twice a week.

“That’s a lot of footwork,” Tipton said, adding she and the other C-N players are required to shoot “roughly two-hundred shots a day, five times a week.”

Walsh added, “Ashley is going to do whatever’s asked of her, she’s been working extremely hard this summer. ... She’s definitely put on muscle weight.”

The former FHS sharpshooter said her goal this season is “shoot above forty-five percent from threes and extend my range, increase my speed, play better defense, hit the boards hard. I just want to be better all around.”

Though Tipton is one of three Lady Eagles with extensive starting experience, Walsh warned that long-range shooting talent should be abundant on the 2006-07 team, including other returnees, true freshman and transfers. “We’ve had the best recruiting class we’ve ever had this year. ... We’ve got three-point firepower.”

However, “Ashley can play either the two [shooting guard] or the three [small forward].”

As for improvements Tipton needs to make, “One, she needs to believe in herself a little better, we harp on that constantly,” Walsh said. “We’d like to see her work on her lateral quickness a little bit more, which is what she’s doing this summer.”

Tipton said her biggest improvement needs to come defensively. “I working on my footwork right now with S-A-Q, trying to work on my change of direction, my first step” she said. “I’m just trying to get better speed overall, because that’s where I was lacking last year.”

In the classroom, Tipton’s 4.0 GPA has been earned while majoring in biology, with a minor in Spanish. “I love Carson-Newman, it’s right down my alley,” Tipton said. “I love the people here, it’s a good mix of people, I like the size. It’s a good atmosphere.”

DAKE COMING

Tipton will suit up alongside Catelyn Dake, a 2006 FHS graduate and former standout Lady Admiral post who is an incoming C-N freshman. The duo were teammates for two seasons on the Cedar Bluff Middle School team before playing together three seasons for the Lady Admirals.

“I’m really excited Catelyn’s coming, she’s a great person,” Tipton said. a few weeks ago. “She’s got a great work ethic.”

 

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