Former Reed City standout looking ahead to senior season at Cornerstone

GRAND RAPIDS  — Emma Lockhart has one collegiate season left in her college basketball career and is working at making sure it’s an extremely successful one.

The former Reed City all-conference standout finished her junior season recently at Cornerstone.

Lockhart made 22 starts out of the team’s 30 games and scored 106 points while finishing second with 71 assists. She led the team in assists as a sophomore when she started every game. Her shooting percentage from the floor was down slightly this year.

“I thought Emma had a good year,” Cornerstone coach Katie Mattera said. “She played big minutes for us and contributed in many ways. She is a solid ball handler and also great defender. Emma knows how to handle pressure and keeps fighting when she is tired. I appreciate Emma’s work ethic and example on our team.”

Mattera said Lockhart was a leader this season.

“She was voted as team captain his year, and according to her teammates she excelled in that new role,” Mattera said. “Since Emma’s freshmen year, Emma has been very consistent... which is a good thing. I like knowing that every time Emma goes into the game, I know what I am going to get. She works hard, pushes her teammates, and does all the little things to make others better. Because of all of these things, she has been gaining more and more respect from her teammates every year. I think Emma will have a great senior year.

“Our game at Indiana Tech on Jan. 6 was a tough game. Indiana Tech is a great team, with great 3-point shooters. I had Emma defend both their great shooters throughout the game, and she held them to below their averages. We ended up winning 81-69.”

Mattera has high hopes for Lockhart next season.

“I think Emma can be a bigger scoring threat for us, and I know she will work hard this off season in order to do that,” Mattera said. “I am also looking for Emma to continue her defensive game, and stay confident with herself to defend our opponents’ greatest players.

“Emma has been a joy to work with these last three years. It has been fun watching her grow as an athlete. I’m excited for what is in store for Emma next year. Cornerstone was 16-14 overall and 14-8 in the Wolverine Hoosier Athletic Conference.

At Reed City, Lockhart was a four-year starter and averaged 12.3 points, 5.1 assists and 5.4 steals per game as a senior.

“We had a lot of road wins that were pretty good,” Lockhart said. “We played at Indiana Tech and ended losing to them in the (league) tournament, which is always a hard gym to play in. We were down by 10 at halftime and came back and ended up winning by 10. That was a big win for us.

“At the beginning of the season, we played against Siena Heights. They’re always a tough team to play against. We connected well in that game at home and was able to pull out that win too. Those were big wins for us.”

Against Concordia, Cornerstone had four players in double figures.

““Everyone was shooting the lights out,” Lockhart said. “I was in double figures in that game. It was a good team win overall. Pretty much everyone scored.”

Lockhart is now preparing for her senior season.

“I want to provide leadership for the girls and show them through my work, my leadership, and put in the work during the summer so it pays off next year,” Lockhart said. “We have a lot of juniors and sophomores, so we’re losing two seniors. Obviously, they’ve been beneficial to our program. Jill (Steenwyk) has been our 3-point shooter and can play anywhere on the floor. We’re losing her. Tanner (Hostetler) as been point guard all four years.”

Lockhart was among three Cornerstone players and 253 women nationwide to be named to the 2015-16 NAIA Daktronics Scholar Athlete team. To be nominated for that award, a player has to maintain a 3.5 GPA on a 4.0 scale.