Riding a 15-game winning streak into Friday night’s Class AAAA second-round playoff game against White Knoll, the Summerville girls basketball team continues its focus of erasing the awful memory of last year’s Lower State championship game against Dutch Fork.
In that game, the Green Wave struggled mightily early on, missing their first 22 shots and failing to score a point until midway through the second quarter in what ended up a 54-36 loss.
Senior point guard Ashley Green remembers the night all too vividly and has used the disappointment to spur her efforts even more in this her final season.
Green, a four-year starter for coach Matt Legare, is determined to get another shot.
“The way last year ended has been what’s driven me all year,” said Green. “I won’t be satisfied until we get back there and get another shot. Last year’s team was better than we played that night. We had a great season and a great team, but it was a bad night for us. We have a good team this year too. Our chemistry is really good and we’re all focused on the same goal.”
Green has been a major reason the Summerville program, under Legare, has become one of the top programs in the Lower State. As the starting point guard, Green has experienced three consecutive 20-win seasons and nearly 80 total victories over the last four years. Summerville also has won three straight Region 8-AAAA championships.
She is having her best season overall this year, averaging 12.4 points, 3.7 assists and 4.8 steals per game for the 20-5 Green Wave.
In Tuesday night’s first-round playoff win over James Island, Green scored a season-high 27 points.
“The playoffs really energize me,” she said. “It’s more pressure because if you lose, you’re done, but that makes it fun. I get fired up for these games.”
Green needs 12 points to reach 700 career points and enters Friday night’s game with 280 career steals. Legare has watched his player develop into one of the best in school history.
“She has been a part of a lot of wins and she has really grown up as a point guard over the years,” said Legare. “She does so many things for us, especially on the defensive end. She can score when we need her to score. But, I think the biggest thing is that she doesn’t turn the ball over. She’s going to handle the basketball and get it to the right people and take care of the ball.”
While performing at a high level on the court, Green also excels off the court and has grown into one of the team’s leaders this season. Being a leader is something Green takes seriously.
“I’ve been trained very well in the previous years by great seniors each year so I felt really comfortable taking on that role this year,” said Green, who plans to play basketball at Francis Marion next season. “I try to get everyone involved in knowing what the big picture is for our team.”
While taking on bigger roles as a scorer this season, Green realizes that her strength is defensively. Green has learned and perfected the little nuances of playing defense.
“Playing defense is second nature for me,” she said. “I just have a knack for knowing where the ball is going and getting to it. It’s like a cornerback reading the quarterback’s eyes and anticipating what will happen next.”
Green’s prep career will end in a few weeks. She looks back on her career with fond memories but also looks forward to the next chapter in her life — both as a student and a player.
“I’m nervous but it’s a good nervous,” said Green. “Just getting to play a different level of basketball and learning all over again is exciting for any player. It’s an excited nervous, but I am looking forward to it. But, I’m not there yet. I still have games left here and I want to finish the right way.”