Now, Neosho fans will have two good reasons to attend Missouri Southern women’s basketball home games this season.

Now, Neosho fans will have two good reasons to attend Missouri Southern women’s basketball home games this season.
Former Neosho High standout Chelsey Henry returns for her junior season and she’s joined on the Lady Lions roster by her former high school teammate Brooke Stauffer, a sophomore transfer from NCAA Division III Westminster (Missouri). Stauffer’s listed as No. 13 on the Lady Lions roster.
Henry comes off a sophomore season in which she made 25 starts and she was just one of four Lady Lions to play in all 29 games. She averaged 10.3 points and 3.6 rebounds, and finished 63 for 76 (82.9 percent) at the stripe. Henry made the game-winning shot in the season opener against Oklahoma Baptist and put together a 22-point night in a win against conference foe Lincoln.
Henry recently played for an American team in the USA Sports D2 Tour in Brazil, with her teammates including players from around the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association as well as the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference.
Henry told Missouri Southern Athletics of the trip early on, “We played our first game last night (August 1) in Jundiai and we won 100-22. We will travel to Sao Paulo today to play and then we’re on the road to Rio.
“It’s already been an amazing trip and it’s only Wednesday. I’ve gotten close with the women’s team and we’ve had a blast. At first, it was difficult in the first game to play with people you’ve never competed with (except for the few MIAA players). After the first quarter though, we all loosened up and just played. It was a lot of fun. I’ve already learned that Brazilian players are fast and physical.”
Stauffer played in eight games for the Lady Blue Jays last season and started in three, averaging 19.9 minutes per contest. She shot nearly 48 percent from the field and 56 percent from the stripe, shooting numbers contributing to nearly 7 1/2 points a night. Stauffer also averaged 3.4 rebounds.
Stauffer netted a career-high 14 points against Rhodes and netted 10 points twice, once against Fontbonne and once against Greenville. She had seven rebounds against Webster and six each against Rhodes and Dallas.
Feeling home sick, Stauffer returned home early in the season and became a fixture at Neosho High basketball games, cheering on both her former teammates and former school mates.
Henry and Stauffer are both listed as 5-foot-10 guards, a size necessary in today’s college basketball. Currently, Neosho is the only hometown listed more than once on the Lady Lions’ roster.
The Lady Lions — coming off a 12-17 overall, 7-12 MIAA season under new head coach Ronnie Ressel — have released their schedule for the 2017-18 season.
Missouri Southern opens its season November 10 and 11 at home as the host of a challenge between the MIAA and the Great American Conference. The Lady Lions play Oklahoma Baptist at 7:30 p.m. on the 10th and then Southwestern Oklahoma at 3 p.m. on the 11th.
The Lady Lions then travel to Searcy, Arkansas to play Harding on November 14 and to Kirksville to play Truman State on November 18.
The Lady Lions then have the privilege of traveling to Puerto Rico for the Puerto Rico Basketball Classic with games against Puerto Rico-Rio Piedras, University of the Sciences, and Pontifical Catholic of Puerto Rico.
Missouri Southern opens MIAA play Nov. 30 against Fort Hays. The Lady Lions play their rival Pittsburg State twice over a period of 17 days — at John Lance Arena on February 3 and at the Leggett & Platt Athletic Center on February 20.