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Lady Jays guard Robinson under the radar, despite production above the norm


Riah Robinson is quick with a, ‘Thank you’ upon hearing a comparison of herself to former Clever standout Allie Clevenger.

Robinson would be an admirer of Clevenger, even if they weren’t cousins.

“She was a great player in high school and is playing well at Drury, too,” Robinson said. “I feel we play the same style. I’ve talked to her about it. She’s taught me a few things.”

Robinson’s senior season at Clever this winter stands up with the finish to Clevenger’s Lady Jays career two years ago.

Through 23 games, Robinson is averaging 22.1 points, 4.2 rebounds, 2.3 steals and 1.7 assists a night. She is shooting 44 percent from the field overall, including 38-percent accuracy from 3-point land (66-of-173).

Clevenger’s stats for the 2019-20 season included norms of 23.9 points, 4.9 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.8 steals. She shot 48 percent on her field goals while making 36 percent of her 3-pointers (70-of-197).

However similar their stats as seniors are, there’s no question Clevenger attracted much more fanfare around southwest Missouri than Robinson has received. Not too mention, Clevenger got an NCAA D-II offer from Drury, while Robinson appears likely to go the juco route at Crowder.

The consensus at Clever is the biggest reason for the disparity in the attention for the two is wins. The Lady Jays were 20-9 two years ago. This season’s squad entered this week 10-13.

“I’ve told the girls, ‘If you win games, everybody will be talking about you,” coach Clark Satterly said. “If you lose games and have a 20-point scorer, you’re going to go under the radar.”

Robinson scored more than 500 points over her freshman and sophomore seasons for two Hillcrest teams with a losing record. She transferred to Clever at the start of her junior year and the Lady Jays were 8-14 last year.

Regardless, Robinson’s career production measures up to the elite players around the area. She is likely to reach 1,500 points this week.

“I feel like I’m overlooked,” the 5-foot-7 shooting guard said. “Maybe it’s because I’m not very fast or I’m not necessarily as good as girls like (Strafford’s) Emma Compton or (Nixa’s) Macie Conway.

“I think I’ve been more consistent this season than in past years,” she added. “I’m having a lot of fun. But I wish we would win more.”

Satterly is among those who feel Robinson’s play will translate well at the next level. Her balance and shooting mechanics are such that every shot she takes appears to be a good shot.

“When she shoots, I feel confident in that possession we got a good shot,” Satterly said. “She can tort her body well around the basket. She comes around a screen and doesn’t need much time to get her feet set and shoot. That’s stuff that is going to transfer wherever you play.”

Satterly noted a District championship for Clever would go a long way toward Robinson and the Lady Jays being more celebrated. The Lady Jays are the No. 1 seed for Class 3 District 12, even after losing seven games by five points or less.

“You flip those and we're 17-6 and we’re a lot different story,” Satterly said. “But these last couple of weeks, if we can get on a good run and get things done, I think the girls will get some more notoriety.”