After four seasons at the helm of the Neosho girls basketball program, Grant Berendt has been named the new head coach at Mount Vernon.
The Mount Vernon school board approved the hire at its Tuesday meeting.
In his four seasons, Neosho compiled a 61-42 overall record, three winning seasons, and the four wins last season in Central Ozark Conference Large play represented the most wins in conference play since the Wildcats joined the conference 10 years ago.
Neosho saw Chelsey Henry (Missouri Southern), Morgan Brodie (Pittsburg State), Brooke Stauffer (Westminster, Missouri Southern), Sydney Linny (Crowder), and this year’s latest college signees, Caitlyn Jordon (Northwest Missouri) and Makayla Hayes (Newman), all sign on at the next level the last four seasons.
The Lady Wildcats could not get past Nixa in the district tournament, their season ended by the Lady Eagles four straight years.
Berendt takes over at Mount Vernon for Dusty Killingsworth, who resigned after five seasons. Over the last couple seasons, the Lady Mountaineers have developed into one of the best girls basketball programs in Southwest Missouri, with their problem at the sectional level when they play state powerhouse Strafford.
The Lady Mountaineers graduate no players from their 27-3 team that won Big 8 Conference and Class 3, District 12 titles handily, with their losses to Strafford twice (66-35, 69-43) and Fair Grove (77-60). Mount Vernon won 19 straight games in between Strafford losses.
Caitlin Hicks earned Class 3 all-state honors for the Lady Mountaineers from the Missouri Basketball Coaches Association. She averaged 17.8 points and 8.3 rebounds during her junior season. Hicks surpassed 1,000 career points near the end of the season.
Other standouts on Mount Vernon’s team included Cameron Call and Lacy Stokes.