Emily Spitzley knew things would be a little different.
After being the youngest member of the Pewamo-Westphalia varsity girls basketball team the past two seasons, the 5-foot-11 junior guard knew she needed to step up in other areas for the Pirates this season
And Spitzley has been up to the challenge and become a leader for a Pewamo-Westphalia squad that has relied on some freshmen for contributions this winter.
Spitzley has been key in what has been another strong season for the Pirates. She has been one of the primary leaders for a Pirate squad that is ranked No. 6 in Class C and enters Thursday’s regular season finale with a 17-2 record.
“I’ve been here a long time so I should know how things go and how to guide the underclassmen,” said Spitzley, who is averaging a team-best 13.1 points and has made 34 3-pointers. “I think I’ve been able to fulfill that role more and more throughout the season. It takes awhile to get used to it obviously, but now that we’re far along in the season, I think people do tend to look to me. I’m OK with that role. I do my best to be a good leader in that role and that’s something that was very different.”
Spitzley, who was voted the Lansing State Journal high school athlete of the week, recently helped P-W pick up a pair of strong wins that have been part of a seven-game winning streak the Pirates take into their game against Fowler on Thursday . Spitzley averaged 15.5 points in victories over Portland and then-Class C No. 4 ranked Laingsburg.
“I think it was a big week for us,” Spitzley said. “It was two obviously very good teams. They are both very aggressive and tough, especially the Laingsburg game. It was a good test for us because they got it within two. Our ability to rise to the occasion and fight back – I thought that was a good positive movement for us.”
P-W wants to add to its momentum in the state tournament as it braces for a challenging Class C district that also includes Bath, Laingsburg and Carson City-Crystal. Bath is the only team to beat the Pirates the season
Spitzley believes P-W is at a good place entering the start of the state tournament next week.
“We’re getting better and better every practice and all the little things are coming together,” Spitzley said. “If we can have everything come together in the games that are still yet to happen, that can be really big for us and we can be on a great path to get really far.”
Contact Brian Calloway at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @brian_calloway.