Anthony Wayne's Erika Schmidt proved in the spring during track season she's one of the fastest girls in the state.
Schmidt, who placed fifth in the Division I state girls 200 meters as a freshman, showed last night against Northview how her speed can serve as a difference-maker on the basketball court.
The 5-foot-10 sophomore came off the Generals' bench to score six points and grab five rebounds in a 40-34 victory over visiting Northview.
However, statistics don't quite tell Schmidt's impact on the game for the Generals (5-1, 4-0 NLL).
She helped AW climb back from a 13-point deficit in the first half by turning up the defensive pressure on Northview's ballhandlers, who were guilty of committing 18 of their 21 turnovers over the final three quarters.
After Northview outscored AW 15-4 in the first quarter when Schmidt watched much of the action from the bench, the Wildcats were held to only 19 points over the final three quarters.
"She's an excellent athlete and her basketball skills are quickly catching up," AW coach Justin Zemanski said, of Schmidt.
Schmidt said her role on the team is a simple one.
"My goal is to go out and make the team better," Schmidt said.
Meanwhile, Ashley Bromley paced the Generals with a game-high 10 points while Jordan Floyd provided nine points.
Allison Papenfuss struggled to find her shooting touching and finished with seven points. She made her presence felt primarily by grabbing a game-high 16 rebounds, including four off the offensive glass. She grabbed 10 rebounds after halftime, including six in the third period when AW outscored Northview 15-4 to take a 29-25 edge into the final quarter.
"I think all of us shook ourselves awake in the second half and said we want this game," Papenfuss said.
Papenfuss also gave credit to her teammate for providing a spark off AW's bench.
"Erika is just a speed demon," Papenfuss said. "She's extremely fast and with her on the court we feel the speed just goes up for us."
Zemanski considered his team's performance an indication of how hard the Generals work in practice.
"We battled for 32 minutes," Zemanski said. "We knew Northview is a good team but our girls refused to give up."
Karly Kasper paced Northview with seven points and a team-best 12 boards while Nicole Munch added seven points and four rebounds.
The Generals finished out the game by scoring the final six points. Floyd scored from 10 feet to give AW a 36-34 lead with 1:50 left to play. Papenfuss put back an offensive rebound and Bromley made two foul shots to com-
plete the scoring.
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