FHS senior will play college hoops in Minnesota
FARMINGTON – In front of family and members of her now former high school basketball team, Farmington's Tanisha Beetso signed her national letter of intent on Thursday to continue her basketball career at Central Lakes College in Brainerd, Minn.
Nearly half of the Lady Scorpions roster from last season was present at Farmington High School to take photos with Beetso and show their support as the senior shooting guard officially committed to her new school. Beetso said she had been wooed by the coaching staff at Central Lakes College, a National Junior College Athletic Association Division III school, since January.
"Their coach was the first one to reach out to me and the first one to notice what I did at Farmington," Beetso said. "I feel like we had some really good talks on the phone, and she made me feel like I was already a part of the team, like I already lived over there."
Cassie Carey is the head coach at CLC, and her husband, Alvin, is the assistant. The Raiders play in the Minnesota College Athletic Conference and finished with an 11-13 record last season.
Beetso said Penn State Lehigh Valley, another DIII school, pushed hard to bring her aboard, but the Careys just made CLC feel like home.
Beetso's Lady Scorps surged at the end of the 2015-2016 season with four wins in their last five regular-season games to clinch a state tournament berth. The team was a close-knit group on and off the court, so when players showed up to cheer her on during her signing, she wasn't surprised. But she was flattered.
"I'm really close with most of them. I've been playing with some of them since my eighth-grade year," Beetso said. "We've grown through our trips, and we just tell each other everything, that's how close we are. I'm going to miss them a lot."
Farmington coach Danny Secrest is going to miss Beetso's production on the court. The 5-foot-7 guard was second on the team in both points per game and 3-pointers made, so the coach will have some work to do replacing her offensive production next season.
"She stretched the court for us," Secrest said. "(Defenses) would come get her, and she'd penetrate the hole. She was a good player — a good scorer that could stretch the defense and make shots."
Secrest thinks Beetso will impress her Raider teammates and coaching staff with her work ethic right out of the gate. She said she can't wait to make the 1,300-mile move and get started at CLC, where she plans to major in kinesiology.
Jake Newby covers sports for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4577.