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Monday, May 2, 2016

Redus takes hardwood skills to Poplar Bluff

Thursday, May 6, 2004

Staff Writer

As one very productive chapter draws to a close, another is poised to continue.

After four years of racking up numerous individual honors while helping her team in its quest for a state title, the April Redus era is over at Couch High School.

And, after coming off the best season in school history, Three Rivers Community College in Poplar Bluff is hoping that Couch's loss will be their gain.

Redus signed a letter of intent recently to play basketball next season with the Lady Raiders, who racked up a 30-6 record and Region 16 championship this year, on their way to reaching the number five spot in the nation's JUCO ranks.

The Couch Lady Indians, after notching yet another Big Springs Conference and district title this year, reached post-season play for the fourth time during Redus' tenure, falling to Chadwick in the sectionals this year.

As a freshman, Redus helped the Lady Indians advance to the Show-Me Showdown Final Four in Columbia, and Couch made it to the quarterfinal round of the state playoffs in her sophomore and junior seasons.

It was in one of these quarterfinal tilts, last year with Delta in West Plains, that Redus caught the eye of Lady Raider Head Coach Jack Childress.

Childress just wrapped up his 11th year at the helm of TRCC with a career record of 207-101.

"I saw her against Delta last year in the quarterfinals, and boy, what a game she had," he said. "They (Couch) were trailing, and she almost single-handedly led a comeback."

Leading the Lady Indian charge was nothing new for the two-time All-State performer.

Many was the time when Redus would pull the ball off the backboard, weave her way downcourt through traffic and either pull up for a 30-foot jumper, or snake her way to the rack for a 3-point play the hard way. "She shoots well, and she also runs the floor well," Childress said. "And on defense, she guards well. She just has all the tools."

The Big Springs Conference Player of the Year, Redus was also tabbed All-Region, All-District and All-Conference Tournament, while pacing Couch with a 24-point, four-board and four-steal average in her senior season.

With Redus gathering honors and numbers like that, Childress feels fortunate to sign her.

"I do feel fortunate that we got her," he said. "We were fortunate to get her to sign early, because with all the accolades she's rounded up, she would have gotten a lot of looks from other schools."

This fortune might also extend to Redus' side, as she should have a chance to make an immediate impact on the Lady Raiders' roster.

"We're losing six sophomores off the best team in school history," Childress said. "So, we're going to have to have some freshmen who can play next year."

Working hard to attain the position she's at, Redus no doubt looks forward to working toward the next level.

"She's got a good work ethic," Childress said. "We work hard here. I know everybody says they do, but we really do work here. We've got some big shoes to fill next season."

Not just a hard worker on the court, Redus also earned numerous awards in the classroom, including honors in the USAA's agriculture, mathematics, and leadership and service categories.

Redus was also named All-American Scholar At-Large, and made the National Society of High School Scholars.

All this should add up to success at TRCC, according to Childress.

"April is not only a quality player, but she's a good person," he said. "That's exactly the kind of player we want here. One that can excel off the court as well as on."

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