published Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014

Basketball camp director Rick Bolus high on Copeland, Reuter, Harris

Longtime "Blue-Chip" basketball camp director Rick Bolus also grades high school players by state and provides a Top 12, a Second 12 and and a list of the next-best 25.

Seven girls from the Chattanooga area are listed among his best in Tennessee in his January 2014 edition.

Bolus is considered to be one of the country's best high school basketball gurus. He has spent more than 40 years as a scout and 35 as an exposure camp director.

Heading the area contingent on his Tennessee girls' Top 12 is Bradley Central 6-foot-1 post player Brooke Copeland, a Florida signee. Her high school teammate, 6-2 post Rebecca Reuter, who has signed with Middle Tennessee State, and GPS 5-5 point guard Akia Harris are among the Second 12.

Wing players Nora Berry, a 5-11 Grambling State signee from Cleveland, and Emileigh Swafford, a 5-10 Lee University signee from Meigs County, are among the girls from area schools listed in the next 25. The others are from Hamilton Heights: 6-3 post player Gerda Paulauskaite, who has signed with Gardner-Webb, and 5-8 junior guard Victoria Monyei.

Adding to the local flavor, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga signee Keiana Gilbert, a 6-foot junior from Columbia Central, also is in Bolus's Tennessee Top 12.

Among area boys, only Signal Mountain 6-7 senior Lannom Sowell, one of the "next 25," made a Bolus list.

Red Bank makes hires

Red Bank late last week announced it has hired homegrown Bailey Lyness as its girls' basketball coach and Nick Fike as its boys' coach.

Lyness played basketball at Red Bank, as well as volleyball and softball, before signing a basketball scholarship with Tennessee Wesleyan. She just completed her final year of eligibility at the Athens college, where she's on pace to graduate in May, and she's also been hired as an English teacher.

"When she played here she was an all-around great kid," Red Bank athletic director Mandi Munn said. "She was always very mature for her age. She already has plans in place. She's very structured. She's an alumnus, too, so there's also the whole pride factor."

Fike has coached boys' basketball locally as an assistant, including two stints at Red Bank -- one under John Cherne and most recently under Corey Lazenby. Former UTC player Marcus Watts has been hired to assist Fike.

Polk seeking coaches

Polk County is looking to fill both of its head basketball coaching positions after boys' coach Rusty Brewer and girls' coach Johnny Hayes resigned recently.

"We're in the process right now of trying to fill those positions," Polk County athletic director Ronnie German said. "We'd like to get it done as quickly as possible so they'll be able to get their summer-camp schedules in place."

German added that some "in-house" matters regarding faculty positions must also be worked out before the hires can be made. Brewer and Hayes are continuing to work on scheduling for next season.

Contact Kelley Smiddie at ksmiddie@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6653. Follow him at twitter.com/KelleySmiddie.

about Kelley Smiddie...

Kelley Smiddie is a sports writer who has worked at the Times Free Press for 12 years. He covers high school sports and softball. Kelley’s hometown is Chattanooga, and he graduated from Brainerd High School and graduated Chattanooga State and UTC. Contact Kelley at 423-757-6653 or ksmiddie@timesfreepress.com.

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