Latta's Smith named Freshman of the Year

Apr. 27—LATTA — Freshman Jayse Smith hit the ground running for the Latta High School girls' basketball team this season.

She was an immediate force for the Lady Panthers and continued to fine-tune her game until the end. Smith finished the season averaging 11.7 points, 3.5 rebounds, 3.1 steals and 1.4 assists per game and is the 2024 Ada News All-Area Girls Basketball Freshman of the Year.

"We knew Jayse was going to have an impact on our team coming in as a freshman, but we weren't sure to what extent," Latta head coach Clay Plunk told The Ada News. "But she stepped into that role and never looked back. She was consistent for us all year, and shot the ball better the longer the year went."

Plunk said Smith has a fantastic work ethic, especially for a young player.

"We have a lot of girls put in time on their own to work on their game, and she is one that is always in the gym. She is an extreme competitor, and that's what makes her so tough," he said.

Plunk can't wait to see his prize pupil return to the court.

"The most exciting thing about Jayse is she is going to do nothing but keep getting better," he said.