By FHSU SPORTS INFORMATION
Fort Hays State head women’s basketball coach Tony Hobson has announced the signing of four transfers that join a pair of incoming freshmen in the 2022 signing class. The group of transfers includes Whitney Brown (Grand Island, Neb./Nebraska), Mallory Cowman (Towanda, Kan./Butler CC), Clary Donica (Dickson, Okla./Central Oklahoma) and Sasha Koenig (West Branch, Iowa/Bradley).
Included in the transfer class is two guards and two forwards. Three of the four come in with three years of eligibility remaining, while the fourth is a graduate transfer with one year of eligibility.
The six newcomers will join eight returners from last year’s squad that lifted both the MIAA regular season and postseason tournament trophies while reaching 30 wins for the fourth time in program history. The 2022-23 season is slated to kick off in early November at the D2CCA Tip-Off Classic inside historic Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City, Mo.
5-8 | Guard | Sophomore
Grand Island, Neb. | Northwest HS | Nebraska
Whitney Brown moves to Hays after two years as a Husker at the University of Nebraska. The Grand Island, Neb. native played in 45 games across those two seasons while only using one year of eligibility. She scored 112 points in a Nebraska uniform, averaging 2.5 per contest. The 5-8 guard also totaled 49 rebounds, 33 assists, 16 steals and 26 3-pointers. Brown scored a career-high 14 points in a victory over previously-unbeaten No. 15 Ohio State as a true freshman (1/16/21). She earned Academic All-Big Ten honors in 2021-22 and was twice listed on the Tom Osborne Citizenship Team.
Before starting her collegiate career at Nebraska, Brown was a two-time All-Nebraska selection at Northwest High School in her hometown of Grand Island. She led the Lady Vikings to a pair of Class B state tournaments, winning the title as a junior in 2019 before reaching the semifinals as a senior in 2020. She was a Super-State second team selection by the Lincoln Journal Star in both 2019 and 2020 in addition to a pair of All-Nebraska honors from the Omaha World-Herald, including first team as a junior and second team as a senior.
Brown was named first team Nebraska Class B All-State as a junior and senior and was listed on the Nebraska State Championship All-Tournament team as a junior. She was twice named captain of the All-Heartland Super Squad by the Grand Island Independent (2019, 2020). Brown finished her career with 1,387 points and 179 made 3-pointers while averaging 17.5 points, 4.0 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 2.0 steals as a senior.
A three-sport athlete, Brown finished her high school career with 10 varsity letters, including four in both basketball and volleyball and two in track and field. She helped the volleyball team to three state tournament appearances and twice qualified for the state track meet in the 3,200m run. Brown was an Academic All-State selection in both basketball and volleyball and was president of both the student council and the National Honor Society.
6-2 | Forward | Sophomore
Towanda, Kan. | Circle HS | Butler CC
Mallory Cowman makes the move across the state after two years of athletic competition at Butler (Kan.) Community College. Cowman spent her first season on the Grizzlies volleyball team before playing basketball at BCC in 2021-22. She appeared in all 31 games during the most recent basketball campaign, including eight starts. A 6-2 forward, Cowman averaged 13.5 minutes per game while scoring 5.3 points and grabbing 3.7 rebounds per contest. She totaled 165 points, 116 rebounds, 18 steals, 16 assists and 12 blocks while shooting 43.7 percent from the floor (66-of-151) and 70.2 percent from the free-throw line (33-of-47). Cowman scored in double figures six times, including a season-high 16 points against Friends JV (11/8/21).
Before transitioning to the basketball program at BCC, Cowman played in 23 matches on the volleyball team in the spring of 2021. She totaled 96 kills (1.39 k/s), 40 blocks (0.58 b/s) and an attack percentage of .141. She was an NJCAA third team All-Academic honoree for her work in the classroom during the 2020-21 academic year.
Cowman was a two-time Class 4A All-State selection at Circle High School in her hometown of Towanda, Kan. She was a third team selection as a senior in 2020 after earning honorable mention status as a junior in 2019. She was a first team All-AVCTL Division II selection while averaging 10.8 points, 6.8 rebounds and 2.5 blocks per game. Cowman was also a standout performer on the volleyball team at CHS, earning a spot as a Kansas Volleyball Association All-Star as a senior. She was a Best of Kansas Preps selection in both volleyball and basketball in 2019-20.
6-0 | Forward | Graduate Student
Dickson, Okla. | Dickson HS | Central Oklahoma
No stranger to the MIAA, Clary Donica has played the last three seasons at Central Oklahoma after opening her collegiate career at Oklahoma. Donica played in 79 games over three years with the Bronchos, including 27 starts. The 6-0 forward totaled 412 points, 326 rebounds, 45 assists, 32 steals and 14 blocks in that time, including a career-best 19 points behind 4-for-4 shooting from behind the arc inside Gross Memorial Coliseum against the Tigers (2/8/20).
Donica recorded one double-double (12p, 10r, 12/7/19 at NSU) while scoring in double figures 12 times and recording at least 10 rebounds twice. She graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor of science in kinesiology emphasizing in exercise/fitness management in the summer of 2022.
Before transferring to UCO, Donica spent the 2018-19 season as a walk-on at Oklahoma. She played in three games as a Sooner, totaling two rebounds and two points.
A native of Dickson, Okla., Donica was an All-State selection while at Dickson High School. She earned a trio of all-conference honors after averaging a double-double for her career. Donica scored 16.0 points per game as a senior. She also lettered in cross country, qualifying for state. Off the course, she was a member of the National Honor Society and finished with a 4.22 cumulative GPA to earn the honor of class valedictorian.
5-7 | Guard | Sophomore
West Branch, Iowa | West Branch HS | Bradley
Sasha Koenig (pronounced CANE-ig) will play for the Tigers in 2022-23 after spending her freshman season at Bradley University in Peoria, Ill. Koenig appeared in 15 games as a Brave, averaging 6.1 minutes per contest. The 5-7 guard totaled 11 points, eight rebounds, five steals and four assists on the year. She went 2-for-2 from behind the arc for a season-high six points at South Dakota (12/6/21).
Koenig had a stellar high-school career at West Branch (Iowa) High School. She was a two-time Iowa Class 2A first team All-State selection from the Iowa Girls Coaches Association. Koenig wrapped up her time as a four-year starter with 1,445 points, 434 assists, 354 rebounds and 268 steals. She was one of two players state-wide to average more than 20 points and five assists in 2020-21, putting up 20.6 points, 5.5 assists, 4.5 rebounds and 3.1 steals per game as a senior.
She helped the Bears to Bears to back-to-back state tournament appearances in program history in 2020 and 2021, including the program’s first ever victory at the state tournament in 2021 to reach the state semifinals. Koenig was named 2020-21 Gazette Girls Basketball Player of the Year and finished second in voting for Female Athlete of the Year. She earned a trio of IGCA all-district selections and was an Academic All-State selection as a senior. Koenig earned a total of 10 varsity letters as a Bear, including four in track & field and two in softball. She qualified for the Iowa state track meet as a member of five relays, including a pair of shuttle hurdle relays that earned third-place medals.
|2022 FHSU Women’s Basketball Incoming Class|
|Name||Pos.||Ht.||Yr.||Hometown||High School||Previous School|
|Whitney Brown||G||5-8||So.||Grand Island, Neb.||Northwest HS||Nebraska|
|Mallory Cowman||F||6-2||So.||Towanda, Kan.||Circle HS||Butler CC|
|Clary Donica||F||6-0||Gr.||Dickson, Okla.||Dickson HS||Central Oklahoma|
|Sasha Koenig||G||5-7||So.||West Branch, Iowa||West Branch HS||Bradley|
|Brooke Loewe||G||5-8||Fr.||Huxley, Iowa||Ballard HS|
|Ellie Stearns||G||5-8||Fr.||Andover, Kan.||Andover Central HS|