A sharpshooting guard from Lovell High School has signed a letter of intent to continue her playing career at Northwest College as a member of the Lady Trapper  basketball team.

Shelby Wardell, daughter of Betsy Sammons and Dan Wardell, will play for coach Janis Beal, herself an LHS graduate. Wardell will be the fifth player from LHS coach Chris Edwards’ program to play at the next level. LHS graduates Charri McArthur and Savanna Savage are current members of the Lady Trapper team, and Lauren Hinckley just completed her playing career at NWC.

Wardell led the Lady Bulldogs in scoring during her senior year at LHS to earn a spot on the Wyoming Class 2A All-State team, averaging 10.6 points per game. She shot 34 percent from three-point range and 66 percent from the free throw line.

“Shelby can contribute at the college level with her ability to be a spot-up, knock-down perimeter shooter,” Edwards said. “She has a quick release and is able to get her feet set before the defense can close out on her.

Lovell senior Shelby Wardell signs of letter of intent Monday to play basketball at Northwest College this fall. Joining Wardell at the signing are (l-r) Lovell girls basketball head coach Chris Edwards, Northwest College women’s basketball head coach Janis Beal and her mother, Betsy Sammons.
David Peck photo

“Her high level of coachability has allowed her to improve in all aspects of her game. She has a fighter mindset that allows her to challenge opposing teams. She wasn’t afraid to take the big shot in the moment when we needed it. As a coach I’m ecstatic she can continue her playing career.”

Edwards said Wardell has attended Beal’s basketball camps for many years, “which shows her desire to become a Lady Trapper.”

Wardell said she wants to major in physical education in college and become a coach. She hopes to attend the University of Wyoming after NWC. She’s pleased to be joining the Lady Trappers.

“I’ve always had a goal to play at the college level, and Northwest seemed to be the place to go,” she said, noting that she has attended Coach Beal’s camps since the fourth grade. “I definitely want to improve attacking the basket and getting to the foul line so when teams scout me as a shooter I want to be able to attack the hoop.

“I’m super excited and thrilled to play with Charri and Savanna. It will be fun to be their teammate again and also meet new people.”

Beal said Wardell will be the sixth North Big Horn County player to play for her at NWC, and she knows her well through the camps.

“I know she has the fundamentals of what we’ve been doing,” Beal said. “She’s come to camp ever since I’ve been at NWC. It’s been fun to watch her grow. To think that she has come to camp since the fourth grade and through her high school career and will now have a chance to put on a Northwest jersey is exciting.”

Beal said Wardell will add depth at the shooting guard position.

“Her footwork is good, and she has a quick release,” Beal said. “At the college level there are so many different positions that teams can’t key on one player.

“We’ll be able to drive and kick to her. She’ll be a spot-up shooter and be able to knock down shots. Next year will be good for her. There are good kids to compete against to learn and get better. She’ll develop that one dribble to get a shot in the mid-range game. It will bring along her defense, too.

“Playing against bigger, better and faster players makes you better.”

By David Peck