|Lady Musketeer Semi-State notebook|
As a team the Eastern Lady Musketeers have made history, but they have also accomplished some individual achievements.
One of those is senior Taylor Drury becoming the all-time leading scorer.
With her first basket Saturday, Drury passed Jocelyn Mousty on the list, which includes both male and female players.
Drury said seeing her name at the top of the list is special, but it isn’t close to knowing she is part of a team headed to the state finals.
“It’s good to have accomplished it, but to be honest, the feeling of going to state means a lot more than the scoring title,” she said. “Nothing compares to that. Being all-time leading scorer is nice, but being a Semi State champion is even better.”
Both Drury and Mousty played for Head Coach Mike McBride, who is in his 10th year at the helm of the program.
He said the players’ individual accomplishments have less to do with coaching and more to do with their desire to be the best they can be.
“I’ve been very fortunate to have very good players,” McBride said. “Players that are motivated to get better. That’s a blessing. It makes my job so much easier. It allows us as coaches to work on developing relationships and setting challenging goals for them. I don’t think that (the scoring title) was Taylor’s goal in the beginning, but she is motivated to get better. They work hard at getting better every day.”
If Stewart is able to have another season next year like the one she is having, she will likely move to the top of that list, as well.
She joined the school’s 1,000-point club in this year’s regional contest.
cool under pressure
Teams spent much of the season backing off of Eastern’s shooters like Veronica Judson and collapsing on Drury.
That is a strategy that no longer works, because junior Veronica Judson is making them pay.
In Saturday’s Semi State at Richmond, Judson scored 10 points on two of four shooting from behind the three-point line and made two cruical free throws down the stretch.
She has become a third scoring option for the Lady Musketeers and that has helped propel them to the point of playing for a state championship.
Judson said she hasn’t changed anything in particular, but is trying to feel the flow of the game more.
“It’s so exciting,” she said. “When the game starts I am so nervous, but once I get into the flow things I am able to settle down and was able to make shots today.”
McBride said the only difference he sees is Judson’t confidence level rising.
“She is shooting the ball with confidence,” he said. “That’s been the biggest thing -- her understanding what to do in the moment. Now she is embracing it and she is confident in what she is doing.”
McBride stopped short of defining some of his team as “Role Players” and instead said he has a lot of kids who know their roles.
“I don’t know that we have role players, but we do have basketball players who know their roles,” McBride said. “Veronica (Judson) knows her role and Savannah (Emmert) knows her role and she made a huge bucket for us in the second half.
“I have trust in each one of our girls to do something positive when they get out there on the floor. I hope they sense that from me and that gives them the confidence to go out their and do it. It’s a total team effort and we wouldn’t be here without all of them.”
One of the team’s four seniors, Olivia Fleenor didn’t get in Saturday’s game, but she said it felt like she played when it was over.
“This means so much,” she said. “I am so happy to be part of this. I was a nervous wreck and once we settled down I was able to catch my breath.”