STEVENS POINT – From little used sophomore to one of only two seniors on the Stevens Point Aarea Senior High basketball roster with considerable varsity experience, Sarah Warner has taken the 2014-15 team under her wing.
Her performance on the court and in practice has been instrumental in not only earning the respect of her teammates, but being looked to as the Panthers’ go-to player with the game on the line.
A combo guard who has the ability to bring the ball up the court and get the Panthers into their offense, Warner also is comfortable playing off the ball and creating her own offense by taking the ball to the basket or using he mid-range game to score.
“Sarah gets to the rim and finishes like few girls can,” SPASH coach Derek Kirklewski said. “When her offensive game is clicking, she is incredibly fun to watch.
“Her ability to put the ball in the basket and set up teammates for shots makes her a difficult matchup, and one of the better players in the Wisconsin Valley Conference.”
Warner leads the team in scoring at 14.5 points per game.
A three-year varsity performer, Warner has undergone a metamorphosis of sorts in her game. She averaged 5 points a game in very limited action as a sophomore.
Heavy graduation losses prior to her junior season forced Warner into more of a scoring role and she responded in kind. Warner led the team in scoring at 11.4 points a game last season.
Bolstered by her play and leadership, the Panthers are 5-8 this season and have already surpassed the win total from last season.
“She has been much more consistent shooting a mid-range jumper this season and has added range to her shot,” Kirklewski said. “Sarah has made an effort this season to improve on the defensive end of the court and has rebounded the ball well.”
What has been the highlight of your basketball career up to this point? That would have to be when I scored 32 points at the Brookfield Tournament this season. I didn’t even realize I had scored that much. Talking to people after the game I thought maybe I had 15 or 16 points. My previous best was 23 points against D.C. Everest last season.
If you could meet one person in the history of the world, dead or alive, who would you choose and what would you want to find out about them? I think I would like to meet Walt Disney because he was so creative and the founder of one of the biggest companies and amusement parks. I’m not a creative person at all, so I would pick his brain about how he came up with all those ideas and see all the drawings.
Who has been your role model growing up and what lesson have they taught you that you think you’ll take with you the rest of your life? That would be my parents and especially my mom. She taught me to be respectful, polite and self-motivated to work hard. I really think knowing the importance of hard work will help me as I go through college and medical school.
Name something on your bucket list that you absolutely have to get done before you turn 40 years old: Go skydiving. I’m not afraid of heights and that looks really, really fun.
What can’t you live without? My dog Rudy. He’s a West Highland White Terrier and my favorite thing in the whole world.
Tell us something about yourself that perhaps the average person might not know about you: I like to play guitar. I’m self-taught and at first it was harder than I thought it would be. Like everything, you really have to work hard at it.
What is your greatest fear? I’m really, really afraid of the dark. I have two night lights on in my bedroom when I sleep. When I was younger and went to sleep, I would keep the closet light on in my room.
Scott A. Williams can be reached at 715-345-2282. Find him on Twitter as @SPJScottWill
Family: Father, Dave; Mother, Laurie; Brothers, Nick (20) and Alec (14)
Favorite subject: Chemistry
Favorite food: Mac and cheese
Favorite basketball player: Stephen Curry
Favorite pro athlete: Aaron Rodgers
Favorite pro team: Green Bay Packers
Fantasy job/career: A doctor
Favorite all-time movie: “Coach Carter”
Favorite TV show: “The Office”
Favorite cartoon character: Perry the Platypus from Phineas and Ferb
Favorite super hero: Captain America
Favorite vacation spot: Bahamas