Ezell adds local standout Tarter to 2014 signing class



(Release courtesy of ETSU Sports Information; Photo courtesy of ETSU Sports Information and Chris Alley)

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (April 24, 2014) – ETSU women’s basketball head coach Brittney Ezellannounced Thursday the signing of local productTianna Tarter (Johnson City, Tenn.) to a National Letter of Intent to join the Bucs for the 2014-15 season.

Tarter, a 5-foot-6 guard from Science Hill High School, will come to ETSU basketball after a highly decorated career as a Lady Hilltopper. The high school senior was recently named by the Tennessee Sports Writers Association to the Class AAA all-state team — for the third-consecutive year — as well as being selected as the Big 7 Conference Player of the Year for the 2013-14 season.

In addition, for her career at Science Hill, Tarter has been an integral part of 137 victories — including 50-straight regular season wins — featuring four conference and district championships as well as three regular season conference crowns. Most recently, Tarter led the Lady Hilltoppers to a 31-1 overall record which included an appearance in the Region 1 Class AAA state semifinals.

As a senior, the guard averaged 19 points, five assists, three rebounds and three steals per game as well as shot 62 percent from the field and 41 percent from three-point range. Over the course of four seasons, Tarter has established herself as one of the best in Lady Hilltoppers’ history.

“We are thrilled to announce the signing of Tianna Tarter to our program,” said Ezell. “She is a fierce competitor, a tremendously gifted player, and a true floor general. Tianna is one of the most decorated players in Science Hill history and we believe that she can be equally as impactful here at ETSU.”

Science Hill girls basketball head coach and current SHHS director of athleticsKeith Turner echoed Ezell’s thoughts on Tarter’s presence on the court.

“Tianna is a fierce competitor who hates losing,” said Turner. “She is definitely a high-major player who shines against top competition.”

Bringing local talent to ETSU has become a priority for the women’s basketball program and Tarter’s signing is just the latest example in the 2014 recruiting class. Both Ezell and Turner recognize the importance of keeping northeast Tennessee’s elite talent home.

“It is always great to be able to keep homegrown talent here in Johnson City,” said Ezell, “as Tianna will join her AAU teammate, Mendy McNeese of North Greene, in this signing class.”

“It is very beneficial for the ETSU women’s basketball program to have local players stay home and play for the Bucs,” said Turner. “I think having this can help generate more community interest in the program.”

Tarter, herself, is enthused about continuing her playing career at the next level in her hometown, and looks forward to making many memories throughout her ETSU career.

“I am excited about having the opportunity to stay close to home and play in front of my family and friends,” said Tarter. “Coach Ezell and her staff are building something special. I can’t wait to be a part of it all for the next four years and bring some excitement back to Bucs fans.”

Tarter is the fifth addition to the 2014 recruiting class which also includes Kaylee Barnard (Orlando, Fla.), Shomari Kendrick (Lexington, Ky.), Mendy McNeese (Greeneville, Tenn.) and Malloree Schurr (Montgomery, Texas).

“Tianna is a fantastic addition to our program,” said Ezell, “and to an already strong recruiting class.”


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