MTU signs four women's basketball players

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HOUGHTON, Mi. The Michigan Tech women's basketball program and Head Coach Kim Cameron are pleased to announce the addition of four new players to the program for the 2018-19 season. Clara Johnson (Negaunee, Mich.), Jordan Ludescher (Glen Flora, Wis.), Ellie Mackay (Novi, Mich.), and Alex Rondorf (West Bend, Wis.) have all signed National Letters of Intent to join the Huskies next season.

"We are thrilled to announce our class for 2018-19," Michigan Tech Head Coach Kim Cameron said. "We knew this was an important class for our program and aimed for the stars. We are fortunate to have amazing players and even better people to continue our tradition. The families of these players and the girls themselves have been so fun to go through the recruiting process with. We are grateful that they chose to be Huskies. Every one of them has a high academic standard, and a work ethic that will allow them to compete for playing time immediately."

Johnson, who currently attends Negaunee High School, averaged 11 points, four assists, 3.3 rebounds, and two steals per game as a junior in 2016-17. Johnson has been a varsity player for three seasons as she enters here senior year at Negaunee in 2017-18. Johnson has recorded numerous accolades for her work on the court and in the classroom.

This past season, Johnson was BCAM's BEST Class "C" All-State Honorable Mention and selected to the Class ABC All-Upper Michigan Second Team. She was named to the Mid-Peninsula Conference All-Conference First Team each of the past two seasons while also being chosen for a spot on the All-Defensive Team. She helped guide Negaunee to a conference championship in 2016 and to MHSAA District Championships in 2016 and 2017. Johnson has also earned BCAM Academic All-State honors both as an individual and as a team.

"Clara is an unbelievable person and player," Cameron said. "She is a Husky through and through with both of her parents graduating from Michigan Tech and her mom being a former women's basketball player. Her leadership and love of the game made her no brainer for our program. One thing that stood out with Clara was her continuous improvement. Every time we watched her play she became more confident, creative, and an overall better player. She is a shifty person who has an offensive skill set that makes her a threat from everywhere on the floor. She has grown her game to be able to score and get her shot off against any defender."

Ludescher preps at Flambeau High School and has garnered numerous awards for her performance on the court. She has been selected First Team All-Conference in each of her first three seasons and this past season as a junior, Ludescher was named First Team All-Area and Division 5 Honorable Mention All-State. Ludescher is an outstanding overall athlete, competing in cross country, volleyball, and softball in addition to basketball. She has been and All-Conference selection in all of those sports in addition to be chosen for the All-Academic Team.

"Jordan is an all-around tough player," Cameron said. "She plays her heart out on every possession on both ends of the floor. She plays like a guard in the sense that she is the first one on the floor going after loose balls, and stands out with her hustle plays. That being said, she is a post player that demands the ball and has a presence in the post. She posts as hard as any player we've brought in as a freshman. Her positioning and ability to seal and get the ball is at the level of a college player. Her work ethic will make her a nightmare for other people to guard and she naturally does all the "little things" that you beg people to do. She keeps the ball in play, goes and gets a bad pass, boxes out on every shot, and crashes the offense boards."

Mackay has had a very decorated career at Novi High School as she enters her senior season there in 2017-18 before joining the Huskies in 2018-19. She holds both school and MHSAA records for her play on the court and has been selected for multiple postseason honors. Mackay earned First Team All-Conference honors three times, First Team All-County twice, Honorable Mention All-State (AP & BCAM) two times, First Team Detroit Free Press All-North Region, and 1st Team Detroit News All-Area twice. She was also tabbed as a Detroit Free Press Top 100 High School player.

Mackay holds the school record for most points in a game (40) and became the second player in school history to score over 1,000 career points. She also helped guide Novi to their first District Championship in 10 years. At the MHSAA level, Mackay is second in the record books for most free throws made in a game (22) and is fifth in consecutive free throws made in a single game (17).

"Ellie stood out to our staff from the moment she stepped on campus," Cameron said. "She and her family had an immediate connection to the area, the school, and the program. She is a stand out person first, and her skill set on the floor is unmatched. She is a point guard who has the ability to rebound, guard inside, and the toughness to take on any challenge presented to her. As a guard, she goes after every rebound and gets her team extra possessions. She can shoot the three, but has great ball handling skills and can get to the basket and draw fouls. She is a pest on defense and often has the task of guarding the other teams' best player."

Rondorf is entering her senior season at West Bend West High School where she has earned First Team All-Conference honors as a sophomore and a junior. Rondorf was an Honorable Mention All-Area as a junior and in the classroom is a member of National Honors Society. Rondorf is also an excellent multi-sport athlete, earning a spot on the All-Conference Second team as a sophomore and All-Conference First Team as a junior in the sport of softball.

"Our immediate draw to Alex was her ability to shoot the three," Cameron said. "She stretches opposing teams' defenses and has a release that is nearly impossible to guard. She has the green light to shoot and does so at a high percentage. Alex has great size for a guard, which makes her an even tougher match up. Throughout the summer she worked to become a dual threat getting to the basket, and was extremely successful. She often has mismatches and exploits them easily. She challenged herself to focus on her defense and has improved tremendously over the past year. In addition, she has a high basketball IQ and see's the floor really well."

The Huskies open the 2017-18 regular season on Friday in Pepper Pike, Ohio against Davis & Elkins followed by a battle with Ursuline on Saturday. Friday's tip-off is scheduled for 3 p.m. with a 4 p.m. start time for Saturday's contest.

Michigan Tech is ranked 21st in the WBCA NCAA Division II Preseason Top 25 Poll and are first in the GLIAC Preseason North Division Poll.