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Siblings will play together again as teammates

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From left, Franklin high school graduates Tara Parmer and Shelby Parmer will attend St. Mary-of-the-Woods college in the fall. Scott Roberson / Daily Journal
From left, Franklin high school graduates Tara Parmer and Shelby Parmer will attend St. Mary-of-the-Woods college in the fall. Scott Roberson / Daily Journal

Shelby Parmer wasn’t holding her breath waiting for the basketball paths traveled by her and her sister to again intersect.

Then it happened: Two signatures. One college. Two more seasons on the same roster.

On July 18, Shelby and Tara Parmer, teammates at Franklin Community High School during the 2010-11 and 2011-12 seasons, signed with St. Mary-of-the-Woods College as part of coach Deanna Bradley’s 2014-15 class.

Shelby Parmer, a 5-foot-3 point guard, played two seasons at Vincennes University, averaging 7.8 points and 4.5 assists per game for a 23-7 Trailblazers squad last winter.

A 5-2 shooting guard, Tara Parmer earned a total of 10 varsity letters at Franklin, having also played volleyball and softball. She produced team-high numbers in points (11.1), assists (3.5), steals (3.4) and rebounds (5.4) for the Grizzly Cubs girls basketball team as a senior.

Tara will be a freshman, Shelby a junior.

“After Vincennes, I hadn’t really heard anything and was thinking of going to an (Indiana State) or Ball State and just being a student. We went down to (St. Mary-of-the-Woods) for a visit in June, and both loved it,” Shelby said. “It’s like a small community.

“You step on campus and feel real welcome. I’m really excited. I wouldn’t want to finish my basketball career with anyone else.”

Those who don’t know the sisters display a befuddled facial expression when it’s mentioned they’ll also be roommates at St. Mary-of-the-Woods.

That’s hardly a departure from the norm considering the Parmers shared a bedroom for 16 years at their Franklin residence — 18 if you count when Shelby would return from Vincennes for a weekend or holiday break.

“We were roommates for all those years, so we think we can handle two more,” Tara said.

St. Mary-of-the-Woods is an NAIA program coming off an 8-16 season. Two of Bradley’s top three scorers from a year ago return: sophomore guards Ja’Breena Gardner and Na-Shaunda Rayford.

Gardner is a 5-5 product of Southport High School who as a freshman averaged team highs in points (14.4), assists (2.6) and steals (4.4) and was second in rebounding (6.3).

The Parmers represent the latest set of sisters coached by Bradley, who looks forward to her 21st season at the school.

“We’re thrilled to land the (Parmer) family. They’re such good people,” Bradley said. “(Shelby and Tara’s) size doesn’t bother us because both of them make up for it with their speed and tenacity. And they’re both great students, so we don’t need to worry about that.

“Shelby has had an opportunity to scrimmage with the team this summer, so that has helped. We were needing another point guard, and both Shelby and Tara have very good court sense.”

Both sisters plan to major in health care administration. They’ll also play a small role in history when they help break in the 45,000-square-foot Knoerle Sports and Recreation Center with the Pomeroys’ Nov. 15 home-opener against Miami-Hamilton.

Named for Jeanne Knoerle, who served 15 years as the the school’s president (1968-83) and died in June 2013, the facility is the first new building on campus in 50 years.

Previous St. Mary-of-the-Woods women’s basketball teams practiced and played home games 17 miles away from campus at the old Clinton High School gymnasium.

The only driving the Parmers will be doing is down the lane.

The last time Shelby and Tara Parmer teamed up as part of the same basketball program, Franklin won 57 percent of its games, going 25-19.

Perhaps they can match or exceed that success with the Pomeroys.

“My high school career was a great experience, and it went by so fast,” Tara said. “At first I wasn’t wanting to play any sports in college, but we thought this would be another chance to play together one more time.

“It’s a blessing knowing I have another chance to play basketball with my sister.”

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