Playing in the Scott Brown Memorial Classic last month, Princeton center Cassie Staten got a taste of what the next four years could be like.

She turned around and faced the basket for a change.

And liked it.

“I enjoyed it a lot,” said Staten, who signed this week with Concord University as an invited walk-on player. “It was a lot of pressure, going from center to guard, but I thought I handled it well.”

In what she hopes will be the first of many appearances as a shooting guard, Staten scored 16 points and had seven rebounds for the Class AAA all-stars in an 82-76 loss to their AA-A counterparts.

“It was a big change from being down under to touch the ball as much as I did,” she said.

At 5-foot-6, Staten was a small forward — make that a very small forward — playing a post position for the Princeton basketball team.

She rose to the task, averaging 10 points and seven rebounds as the Tigers compiled a 12-11 record in the tough Mountain State Athletic Conference.

But as challenging as the MSAC was, it can’t compare to the quickness and physical play of the West Virginia Conference.

With Concord losing just one senior to graduation, just making the squad will be a difficult proposition

“It’s kind of like starting over,” Staten said. “I’ll have to work on my own (over the summer) to get my feet moving faster.

“I’ll have to work on my shot off the dribble and practice handling the ball. It’s a completely different workout than what a post will do.”

Staten is no stranger to most of the Mountain Lions. Nine are from southern West Virginia, including former Princeton standout Lyndsay Repass.

“I’m happy Cassie is coming,” coach Kenny Osborne said. “She continues our trend of signing local products.

“She’ll have to learn a new position, but she shoots the ball pretty well.”

Osborne has signed Clay County’s Meghan Cole and Brittany Campbell from Fort Defiance High School in Staunton, Va., to scholarships.

Bluefield seniors Stephanie Wallace and Aiesha DeWitt join Staten as invited walk-ons.

Concord is expected to compete for the 2008 WVC championship, coming off a 21-9 season that saw the Mountain Lions reach the tournament semifinals.

— E-mail:

dstillwell@register-herald.com

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