EUREKA, Ill. – Eureka College has announced the first group of women's basketball recruits for the 2018-19 season, according to an announcement from second-year head coach Amos Arbogast. Hannah Hamilton (Saybrook, Ill./Ridgeview H.S.), Marissa Murphy (Canton, Ill./Canton H.S.), Sierrah Seals (East Peoria, Ill./Metamora H.S.) and Paige Veronda (Granville, Ill./Putnam County H.S.) will enter the program as freshmen and have four years of eligibility at EC.
Hamilton, a 5-4 guard, served as team captain at Ridgeview as a senior for head coach Scot Ghere last season. She was a four-year varsity letterwinner for the Mustangs and was selected as the program's top defensive player a year ago. The Saybrook, Ill. native helped Ridgeview develop into a power in the Heart of Illinois Conference, leading the Mustangs to back-to-back 20-win seasons and appearances in IHSA 1A regional championship games.
Murphy was a starter and a key contributor at Canton, helping the Little Giants to a second-place finish in the rugged Mid-Illini Conference and an appearance in an IHSA 3A regional title game last winter. The 5-7 guard was a part of a senior class for head coaches Layne Langhoff and Jessica Jones that won 79 varsity games for the Little Giants.
Seals was a standout at Metamora, regularly contributing as the Redbirds' top defender for head coach Brianna Morrow. A 5-6 guard, the East Peoria, Ill. native helped MTHS to 15 wins, a fifth-place Mid-Illini Conference showing and an IHSA 3A regional championship game appearance during her senior season in 2017-18.
Veronda will join the Red Devils after a decorated career at Putnam County. A 5-8 guard and a native of Granville, Ill., she was voted to the 2A All-State Second Team by the Associated Press and the 1A/2A All-State Third Team by the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association. She was a four-time All-Tri-County Conference honoree and was picked for All-Area Teams by The Journal Star in Peoria and by The NewsTribune in La Salle, Ill. She finished her prep career ranked second on Putnam County's career scoring list and reached the 1,000-point plateau early in her senior campaign. She led the Panthers to an IHSA 1A regional title as a freshman in 2014-15. Veronda, who also earned All-State, All-Area and All-Conference accolades in softball, will also play softball at EC.
Eureka can return as many as nine letterwinners from last season's St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference runner-up that won 18 games and advanced to the league tournament semifinals for the seventh consecutive season.
This release is the first of a three-part series announcing Eureka's women's basketball recruiting class. Paige Veronda photo courtesy of the Putnam County Record.