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CRESTWOOD – The points have always come almost naturally to Nicole Bryant and Jasmine Whitfield, the complete game of both has come with time, experience and hard work.
Bryant, a junior guard at North Oldham and Whitfield, a junior guard at South Oldham, both reached the 1,000 career point mark last week.
Both have been starters since their freshman season and are enjoying strong junior seasons so far.
Whitfield, who went over 1,000 points in a loss to Walton-Verona, has emerged as a contender for regional player of the year this season averaging 21.1 points a game to go with seven rebounds and five steals a game.
Always an excellent slasher, she has added a post-up game to use her 5-foot-10 frame against smaller players and improved her outside shot.
“I think my mom told me first I was getting close to it, but I didn’t know the exact numbers,” Whitfield said. “It’s not something I really thought about. Now that I have it, I realize it’s a pretty good honor.”
SOHS is 12-5 this year and with wins over Owen County and Anderson County in the past week, has emerged as a viable contender to win the region.
That, and not the 1,000 point mark has been the goal of Whitfield.
“It’s nice to get to 1,000 but my goal is to get to state,” Whitfield said. “It’s always been our team goal and that is what’s important.”
The 5-foot-10 Bryant, like Whitfield, has developed her own inside game to use her size against smaller guards.
She is averaging 17.5 points a game this year to go with six rebounds. Bryant is hitting 45 percent from the field and 45 percent from the three-point line. NOHS is 9-8 this season.
Bryant went over the 1,000 mark in a home win over Bardstown Bethlehem.
“I had an idea I was getting close, it was a goal of mine at the start of the year,” Bryant said. “I could kind of tell I was really close the way the guys on the team and the coaches started trying to hide things when they were talking so they thought they could surprise me during the game.”
Bryant has become a better rebounder this season but has also spent her off season and competition in summer AAU ball to become a more complete player.
“I really focused on my ball handling this summer with my AAU team,” Bryant said. “On my high school team I am one of the biggest oplayers, but in AAU I am a guard and that’s what I want to be in college so that will be important. That’s something I take pride in.”
Another aspect Bryant added to her game has increased her chances of scoring even more.
“I have really tried to learn to move better without the ball to get open and take advantage of what the other team gives me,” Bryant said. “I want to get better at the mental part of the game. I am pretty pleased with how it’s going this year. I guess the best thing is I can always say I try my hardest.”
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