SCOTIA — Late in Thursday’s first quarter, Asia Winney got all of the break the Scotia-Glenville girls’ basketball team could afford to give its versatile senior star.
With a player from that night’s opponent, Gloversville, shooting a couple free throws, Scotia senior Kaitlyn Wilson hopped off the team’s bench to run a water bottle over to Winney. Still standing on the court, and keeping an eye on the foul shooter to see how much time she had, Winney drank as quickly as she could. Just as the second foul shot was about to be released, Winney handed the bottle back to her teammate and prepared to get back to work.
“She’s doing everything for us right now,” Scotia head coach Megan Bowman said. “She’s our point guard. She’s our shooting guard. She’s getting offensive rebounds. . . . Literally, she’s [played] the 1 through 5 for us.”
Winney has handled her do-everything role with composure, working to help guide a young team through the season’s early stages. Veteran help is on the way for the 1-2 Tartans, as junior starters Mikyla Mitchell and Jazmyne Corker — the latter of whom is still recovering from a torn ACL suffered last season — are expected soon to make their season debuts, but it has largely been up to Winney so far this season to provide on-court leadership for Scotia.
“We are young, but we have a lot of potential,” said Winney, whose team next plays Tuesday against Schuylerville in a Foothills Council matchup. “We have to keep staying at it. We can’t get down on each other. In the past, when one thing went wrong, our whole team would get down. We’re really trying to keep each other positive.”
Bowman leans on Winney to make sure that’s happening.
“She’s just the type of person that when things are good or bad, she’s your go-to person,” Bowman said. “Whether it’s for energy or for a positive attitude, she’s your go-to kid. She’d run through a wall for a coach, another player or a fan. She’s the true definition of a leader.”
The energy Winney brings to the court shows in her production for the Tartans. Winney is second on the team in scoring at 10.0 points and rebounding at 6.0 rebounds per game, and leads the squad in assists with 3.7 per game. In addition to that, Winney — who will play next season at Vassar College of the Liberty League — guards top offensive foes.
Often, Winney’s defensive assignment has little to do with position. Winney spent nearly all of Thursday’s loss against Gloversville chasing around Dragons senior guard Harmony Philo, but Bowman said she won’t hesitate this season to send Winney against post players inches taller than her.
“Because of her toughness, she will guard posts for us this season,” Bowman said. “She’s just tough.”
At points, Scotia’s start to the season has been tough. The Tartans, though, have made it through their opening three games a stronger team, and their senior leader has been a key reason why that has been the case.
“If you could pick a player to be the leader of any team,” Bowman said, “you’d pick Asia.”
Reach Michael Kelly at [email protected] or @ByMichaelKelly on Twitter.
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Categories: College Sports, Sports