TAMA - Piecing together her first full recruiting class, Marshalltown Community College women's basketball coach Alison Lacey made shooting a top priority in restocking her roster.
With South Tama County's Kaleigh Sieck now on board, the Tigers coach has a proven player to address that need, while also getting a whole lot more.
Sieck, a 40-percent 3-point shooter and the Trojans leading scorer (16.8 points per game) last season, signed her letter of intent Monday to continue her career at MCC.
T-R PHOTO BY TYLER STRAND
South Tama County senior Kaleigh Sieck prepares to sign her letter of intent Monday to play basketball at Marshalltown Community College. Also in attendance are Sieck’s parents Taddi Ryan, seated left, and Rick Sieck, seated right. Standing in the back row are South Tama head coach Marsha Keahna, left, and MCC head coach Alison Lacey.
"Kaleigh shoots the ball really well and that was something we struggled with this past season," said Lacey, whose squad shot 35.2 percent from the field last year - ranking second-to-last in Iowa Community College Athletic Conference Division II play.
The Tigers also sat in the lower half of the division in 3-point shooting (25.1), though Lacey found plenty more to like in Sieck beyond her shooting skills.
"We love that she's local and that she's a tough kid that will do the little things that not everyone wants to do," said Lacey, who began recruiting Sieck as a junior. "She's a good teammate and a leader. Overall we liked everything she brought as a package."
STC head coach Marsha Keahna has seen Sieck's complete package develop since coaching her as an eighth grader.
"She was always a hustler and always going after everything she could get her hands on," Keahna said. "If things were lulling, she knew it was time for her to spark something up."
The 2012-13 Times-Republican All-Area first-team selection triggered the Trojan defense with a team-high 85 steals and brought a style that defied her height.
Generously listed at 5-6 on the Trojan roster, Sieck tied for second on the squad in rebounds (87) and wasn't afraid to attack the basket - leading the North Iowa Cedar League West Conference in free throws made (112) at a 75.2 percent clip.
"She plays like a big girl," Keahna said. "She can get in on the post and rebound with the best of them. She's strong."
Only three players return from last year's Tigers squad (11-20) which finished sixth in ICCAC Division II (6-10), leaving the door wide open for Sieck to step in immediately.
"With her shooting ability, that will really give her an edge to make an impact right away," said Lacey, whose recruiting class also includes players from Wisconsin, California and Australia.
Sieck, the second leading scorer in the NICL West, credited proximity and an early connection with the coaches in her decision to choose MCC over Grand View University and DMACC.
"They came to my games and it's close to home, that's where I wanted to play," said Sieck, whose passion for the game is most evident at the defensive end.
"I just love the game of basketball and one of my main strengths is my defense - it just gets me pumped up."
Whether it's a 3-pointer, a steal or a rebound, Keahna believes Sieck's versatility can help the Tigers in a variety of ways.
"MCC is getting a very valuable player," Keahna said.
"She is a utility player for them I hope - she can fill in wherever they need her."
Lacey said she is in the final stages of wrapping up her 2013-14 recruiting class, with Sieck being the lone Iowan to this point.
"She will be the only Iowa girl we think. ... We're tying up a couple loose ends with the Australia girls now, but probably in the next month we'll be done."