College of the Ozarks men’s and women’s basketball will open their home season on Monday evening, October 29, as they play host to the Tabor College Bluejays. The women will tip off at 5:30 p.m., and the men will follow at 7:30 p.m. in the Keeter Gymnasium on the College campus.
Monday evening will be the season opener for the Lady Bobcats. The Lady Cats head into the game ranked No. 6 in the NAIA DII Women’s Basketball Coaches Preseason Top 25 Poll and will face a very worthy opponent in the Bluejays, who are ranked No. 20 in the coaches’ poll.
The Lady Bobcats, who closed out 2017-18 with an impressive 31-2 season, return senior All-American standouts Kelsie Cleeton and Cass Johnson, both of whom have tallied more than 1,000 points apiece for the Lady Cats. The duo is joined by talented returning teammates Madisen Brethower, Ashley Forrest, Aleksei Smith, Abby Oliver, Kyra Hardesty, and Grace Steiger. Becky (Vest) Mullis, entering her sixth season at the helm of the Lady Bobcats, has recruited a strong freshman class that features Annie Noah (Gainesvile, Mo.), Michelle Gabani (Bolivar, Mo.), Clare Shetley (Sullivan, Mo.), and Hannah Pfeifer (Mountain Home, Ark.).
Men’s basketball will play their first game of the regular season on the road against Midland University (Neb.) on Saturday before opening at home on Monday. The Bobcats recorded their sixth consecutive season of posting 20 or more wins, closing out 2017-18 with a 23-13 record.
Returning for their final season will be seniors Ethan Davidson, Heath Carmichael, and Ben Cody. Davidson and Carmichael have played key roles for the Bobcats since their freshman season, while Cody stepped in to join the team last year. Upperclassmen Brandt Cochran and Storm Price will partner with sophomores Calvin Allen and Treydon Rackley to continue providing noteworthy contributions to this year’s squad. Steve Shepherd, 16-year head coach of the Bobcats, welcomes four new players to the Cats’ lineup: Klay Barton (Doniphan, Mo.), Sam Chumley (Bryant, Ark.), Bryce Duddridge (Willow Springs, Mo.), and Elias Werth (Hillsboro, Kan.).
Admission to College of the Ozarks basketball games is $5 for adults and $3 for children. Season passes are available at the admission gate; family passes are $30 and individual passes are $20. Schedules for both teams are available at the College’s Athletic Office or online at www.cofo.edu/athletics .