Sports, Women's Basketball

Wynn signs two recruits to women’s basketball team

Two recruits will be joining the Long Beach State women’s basketball program this upcoming academic year, head coach Jody Wynn announced last Thursday.

Freshman Lauren Spargo of Valencia High School in Santa Clarita, Calif. and Mary Ochiltree, a junior college transfer from Everett Community College in Lake Stevens, Wash. signed letters of intent.

“We are very pleased to have these outstanding young ladies join our Beach family,” Wynn said. “Both young women are extremely competitive people with a great work ethic and they will fit in terrifically with our team atmosphere. We are thrilled to add these two quality student-athletes who will be tremendous assets to our team and our University.”

Spargo, a 5-foot-11 guard, lettered four years at Valencia High and helped lead the Lady Vikings to the CIF Division IA playoffs each year, including a quarterfinal appearance in 2009.

“[Spargo] was kind of an under-the-radar kid,” Wynn said. “She played on a club team that didn’t [get as much attention] and I read about her throughout her high school season, watched her to play, and did a work without her, and was sold instantaneously.”

As a senior, Spargo averaged 14.7 points and 6.8 rebounds on a team that finished 21-8 overall. She garnered first-team All-Foothill League and first-team All-Santa Clarita Valley honors.

“[Spargo] is very competitive, and fits into our philosophy and how we like to play,” Wynn said. “She’s very athletic and can do different things on the floor at the guard spot.”

Ochiltree, who is also a 5-foot-11 guard, averaged 15.2 points and 7.1 rebounds in her sophomore season at Everett Community College. She was also a first-team Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges Northern Region selection last season.

Ochiltree reached double figures 22 times with five 20-plus scoring games, including a career-high 29 points against North Seattle Community College. 

“Mary is a knock down 3-point shooter and she has proven it not only at the high school level but at the junior college level,” Wynn said. “She brings a little bit of maturity and experience to the floor, and defensively, her length can provide an asset in which we can extend full court.”

Spargo and Ochiltree will join Bianka Balthazar and Devin Hudson as members of Long Beach State’s 2011-12 recruiting class. Balthazar and Hudson both signed National Letters of Intent in November.

Apart from The Beach’s four recruits, Wynn said she still has an additional four vacancies left on the team’s 15-player roster.

The spots opened after reserve guards Jazmyne Porter, Amanda Sims, and Lyndsay Heard were released from the team earlier this month.

Porter averaged 2.6 points and 12.8 minutes, Sims averaged 3.4 points and 13.5 minutes, while Heard averaged 2.3 points and 11.7 minutes.

“It was a decision in which our staff came to,” Wynn said. “And all three young ladies were under the understanding that they might be better suited playing somewhere else.”

Wynn also said she is uncertain whether they will transfer to other schools to continue playing basketball, but added that Heard may quit playing entirely due to a lingering back injury.

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