Youngstown State head women's basketball coach is excited to announce that Gabby Lupardus, Madison Mallory and Taylor Petit have each signed a National Letter of Intent to become Penguins beginning in 2018-19.
Lupardus is a 5-foot-8 guard from Pineville, W.Va., and Petit is also a 5-foot-8 guard who hails from Schofield, Wis. Mallory is a 6-foot-2 post from Geneva, Ill.
"We are very excited about this recruiting class," Barnes said. "We feel we have added some great fits for our program who will help us makes steps toward winning a Horizon League Championship. All three players have done an excellent job with their academics and will help us continue our successful run of top 25 appearances nationally in GPA."
"I'd like to thank our assistant coaches for their tireless efforts and those who assisted us across campus with recruiting visits in helping us assemble this talented group."
Lupardus is a two-time first-team all-state honoree and a state champion at Wyoming County East High School, which is located about 30 miles southwest of Beckley. She was a first team selection as a freshman in 2014-15, and she followed that up by being named captain of all-state first team and the runner-up for the West Virginia Player of the Year award as a sophomore. She was the leading scorer at the state tournament in leading the Lady Warriors to the state crown in 2015-16. She has averaged 16.2 points, 6.5 assists, 5.2 rebounds and 4.7 steals, and she returns for her senior year after missing most of last season with a knee injury.
"Gabby is a very smart combo guard who is a very good shooter with an extremely high IQ," Barnes said. "She makes everyone around her better and has always played on very successful and competitive high school and AAU teams."
Lupardus has also been very successful in the AAU Circuit, leading the West Virginia Thunder to a national championship.
Petit was a unanimous First-Team All-Wisconsin Valley Conference selection as a junior and has been D.C. Everest Senior High School's leading scorer for three straight seasons. She averaged 17.3 points per contest in 2016-17 while adding 5.5 rebounds and a league-best 5.5 assists per contest. She led the Evergreens to a runner-up finish at the Division I (Wisconsin's largest) state tournament as a freshman, and she has been a team captain in each of the last two years. D.C. Everest Senior is located approximately half way between Green Bay and Eau Claire.
"Taylor is a very athletic and gritty guard who has the ability to control the game on the offensive or defensive end," Barnes said. "She can not only score the basketball, but she will also be able to defend and contain quicker players that we face at this level."
Petit played for Team Wisconsin Select Black in the AAU season.
In her first season at Geneva High School as a junior, Mallory helped the Vikings win a state title at Class 4A and finish with a 29-4 record. In addition to being a state champion as a junior, she competed at the state tournament as a freshman at Montini Catholic. As an individual, she competed in the 3-point contest at the state tournament as both a freshman and a sophomore. Geneva is located about 40 miles west of Chicago.
"Madison is a lights-out shooter at 6-foot-2 but is also very physical in the post," Barnes said. "She will be an extremely tough matchup for teams as she can take smaller players inside and bigger ones will have to be right on her outside the three point line."
On the AAU circuit, she has earned multiple USJN all-star team awards and played for Team Teal with Illinois Evolution. In the classroom, she earned an academic all-conference award as a junior with her 3.83 GPA.
Youngstown State begins its 2017-18 season on Friday at Pitt.