Phil Stern Inks Three in Early Signing Period
BALTIMORE – UMBC women’s basketball head coach Phil Stern announced the signing of three players to National Letters of Intent. Taylor McCarley (Bowie, Md./Academy of Holy Cross), Emily Russo (Woodbine, Md./Glenelg) and Sara Tarbert (Delta, Pa./Kennard-Dale) will join the Retrievers for the 2013-14 season.
McCarley, a three-time all-conference player, is in her fourth season as a starter at Academy of Holy Cross. The 5-10 guard, who ranks 61st at her position by ESPNU HoopGurlz, earned all-county honors twice by the Montgomery County Gazette.
McCarley was a 2011-12 Nike Tournament of Champions All-Star selection after leading her team to a championship appearance in the Gold Division. The Bowie, Md., native saw great success with her club teams, winning the U.S. Junior Nationals (USJN) silver medal in 2011 with the DC Love and following with a USJN DC Gold Medal in 2012 with the DC Heat.
“Taylor is a very athletic wing, who can knock down a three, get to the basket and will certainly help us on the defensive end,” head coach Phil Stern said.
Russo is the reigning Howard County Player of the Year and an All-Metro First Team honoree after leading her team in points (422), steals (4.4 spg), assists (3.4 apg) and shooting percentage (.570) during her junior campaign at Glenelg High School. She helped to pilot the Gladiators to consecutive county and District V titles before losing in the regional championship games. The 5-7 lefty point guard will look to hit the 1,000-point plateau this season as she enters the year with 965 career points.
“Emily is obviously a great local talent who is a very athletic guard, can play multiple positions for us and has a high IQ on the court,” Stern said. “She will make an immediate impact for us.”
Russo and Tarbert played for the Maryland Grizzlies AAU program, the three-time Maryland AAU Division I State Champions and the 2011 champions at the USA Invitational at Penn State.
Tarbert is a two-time all-county first team honoree at Kennard Dale High School. The 1,000 point scorer averaged 15.4 points and 9.8 rebounds per game in her first three seasons with the Rams, including averaging double-doubles in her sophomore and junior campaigns. She entered her senior season 297 points behind the program’s all-time leading scorer, ranks first in rebounds (729), second in steals and third in assists. Tarbert became the first Division I commit ever to come from Kennard Dale High School’s women’s basketball program.
“Sarah is an undersized post player, but will fit well into our system,” said Stern of the 5-11 forward. “She can score in several different ways and can extend the defense past the three-point line.
“This is certainly a well-rounded class,” Stern continued. “We’ve hit some different needs moving forward and we are very excited about the future.”
The Retrievers will graduate four seniors; Kim Browning (Mechanicsville, Va./Hanover), Kristin Coles (Charles Town, W.Va./Notre Dame Academy/American), Brittany Crowell (Brandywine, Md./Gwynn Park./James Madison) and Raven Harris (Virginia Beach, Va./Princess Anne/American), following the conclusion of the 2012-13 season.