2013 Varsity: Allie

“Be quick but don’t hurry.” – John Wooden

A61D5115Allie is the personification of being too fast for her own good. At least she used to be. As one of the best athletes I’ve ever coached, she’s had to learn how to control her body in order to maximize her ability. Her increasingly controlled athleticism has turned her into one of the best Spartans we’ve had.

Allie began playing with her twin sister, Madison, and Kasandra in 5th grade. We traveled to Neuqua Valley for their Sunday League, a developmental league designed for travel teams. We got our butts kicked. But we learned to be physical, to be aggressive, and that being successful will not be easy. Allie continued these lessons as a 7th grader on our Varsity team last year. She was named to the 2012 All-Tournament Team @ the Westmont Tourney and started most of our games. She’s also mentally tough – came in to play in a big game after being very sick for 3 days, and “feeling like I was going to puke.” She helped us win at Jefferson, then led with 2 starters on the bench and another 2 in foul trouble. She’s a reliable all-around teammate.

Allie has been the quiet leader for us all season. She’s vocal, sure, especially in our press and helping lead the offense. But she leads by example by playing and practicing with a purpose. Skill-wise, she’s learned to use her body effectively – reaches for steals with the proper hand, uses her feet and hips to create angels while finishing, and maintains a low stance while moving in all directions  She’s disciplined her athleticism, and as a result, is one of our best defenders and rebounders. She’s not a giant, but she’s strong, smart, and efficient with her movement.

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Allie is our 3rd leading scorer. Her shot has developed through numerous clinics and driveway sessions. She’s adangerous 3 point shooter, but is also very effective at taking defenders off the dribble. Again using her body effectively, she seals opponents out better than most girls we’ve coached. She’s a slick passer, handles the ball well, and is a reliable presence for us in our press break.

Allie has grown into the player she is because she’s learned to stop moving 100 miles an hour. Stopping, assessing and attacking has helped her use that athleticism so much better. Because she doesn’t hurry, her development is so much quicker.

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Beating Jefferson

We won by 52 points last night. Yet 20 minutes after the game, My team is still in the locker room, huddled up, players only. Because today is Jefferson.

There are a few programs and coaches I respect more than Jefferson. They’ve won conference three of the last five years And are reliably one of the best teams in the league. In my time as head coach at Lakeview they have been the standard by which we measure ourselves.

Today is special. We are playing for the opportunity to go to a conference championship. We are equally matched. Both Very talented. And we both have already beat each other.

But our goal, of course, is to win a conference championship. It’s only fitting that it’s Jefferson we must beat to Reach that goal. They have won our conference championship, in fact they haven’t lost, the last two years. Our neighbors and friends, it would make winning a championship so much more valuable if we are fortunate enough to beat them again.

But what’s most exciting, is how excited are girls are to beat Jefferson. They understand what that would mean. To become the best, we must beat the best. They aren’t just ready for the challenge, They crave it. Not because it’s the path of least resistance, Watch because of what it would mean

4 o’clock today… It’s going to be a long 10 hours of school!!!