Parkersburg South’s Allie Taylor raising her game on the hardwood
One of my favorite things about sports is the fluidity.
Things are always changing from one minute, game, or season to another.
This is especially true for high school sports, where graduation is the great equalizer (well sometimes, but in this case the scenario works) and presents opportunities to lower classmen to rise up and shine.
Parkersburg South’s Allie Taylor stands as a great example of taking advantage of said chance.
Given the teams the Patriots have had the past four years, getting varsity game time was difficult.
Taylor made up for lost time when she finally got on the court last season. Her rebounding and defense proved invaluable to first-year South head coach Ed Davis, whose team made a (some would say) surprising run to a regional co-final.
The senior didn’t rest on a job well done over the offseason. She knew she wanted her senior season to be special after tasting sweet starting minutes on the varsity squad.
As mentioned above, cleaning the class and playing solid D weren’t problems for the young lady, but her shooting and scoring weren’t as solid as she would have liked them to be going into her last hurrah.
Taylor was more of a role player in 2016-17, getting points where she could, but admittedly deferred to better shooters in then-seniors Lexi Moore and Jordan Johnson.
“I wasn’t really worried about getting points last season,” said Taylor. “I just wanted to win. Last year was different than what I thought too coming up from jayvee.”
Taylor still isn’t bothered about getting points, but she had the goal to be a multi-faceted threat when her name came up in the opposition’s scouting reports.
“I wanted to be even better than I was last year and just keeping getting better,” said Taylor. “I worked on my shot all summer, like that was all I did was shoot.”
She also worked on getting quicker on the defensive end and hitting the boards more.
“Chris Hyson gave me some things to do to get faster and quicker because I am not the fastest or quickest,” said Taylor. “I jump rope 5 minutes a day, or try to, and have really worked on hitting the boards even harder.”
All the hard work is paying off.
Taylor is scoring 10.8 points per game, grabbing 7.8 rebounds per game, collecting almost two steals per contest and has helped the Patriots to a 13-3 record and No. 2 ranking in the Associated Press poll.
“Allie’s improvements really make us so much harder to defend,” said Parkersburg South coach Ed Davis. “She is an invaluable part of the team.”
Her teammates also have taken notice.
“It takes a lot of pressure off me,” said Patriots leading scorer Devin Hefner (17.2 points per game), who knew the double teams were coming to shut down her chances to score going into the season. “Honestly, when everyone is on me and puts all the pressure on me it is good we have teammates who can step up.”
One of Hefner’s favorite moves is a little jump shot in the lane, which teams have been ready for this season. Both Taylor and her have lost count of the number of times this season defenses collapsed on Hefner only to see Taylor get a good look and convert off a pass.
“I think she has a lot more confidence in her shot,” said Savannah Hays. “And that is helping her not to be afraid of shooting because she can make the basket.”
Sounds like you have achieved what you set out to do at the beginning of the season Allie.
Contact Joe Albright at email@example.com.