Point guard quiet key to P.K. Yonge success

Published: Friday, January 17, 2003 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, January 17, 2003 at 2:33 a.m.

When a basketball program reaches the status of the P.K. Yonge girls, who have been to two of the last three final fours, it is going to have its share of talented players who can take over a game when necessary.

Through this run, athletes like Ash'lea Moore, Ashley McDonald and Sherrita Johnson have played starring roles. But first-year coach Willie Powers said that if the Blue Wave are going to make waves again in the playoffs, it will be in part because of an unsung talent.

"We wouldn't be where we are without Michelle Williams," said Powers, whose club is 13-3 and just moved atop the Class 2A state poll this week. "She doesn't care about notoriety or putting in 20 or 30 points, all she wants us to do is win."

Williams, a junior point guard, averages six points, five assists and four steals a game, but Powers said her role goes beyond any numbers she might produce.

"Michelle is the kid that guards our opponent's leading scorer, dives on the floor for loose balls and plays extra minutes (when Johnson, Petrina Goodman and Marcie Hampton all missed games due to either injury or playing volleyball overseas)," Powers said. "If she makes a mistake, she doesn't dwell on it, she just does what she can to make the next play better.

"We beat Newberry on Tuesday and everybody scored but her. She didn't care. She was passing up open shots to get her teammates better looks. She works so hard every time she's on the court, and I can't remember her ever complaining.

"She's a coach's dream."

The Sun's 2001-02 large school athlete of the year, Thomas Olmsted of Columbia, had quite a debut for the Troy State football team this year.

Olmsted connected on 11-of-15 field goals (with a long of 43) and 21-of-24 extra points. He also punted 72 times for a 39.9 average and placed 17 of those kicks inside the opponent's 20 yard line.

For his efforts, Olmsted was named as the third-team Freshman All-American punter by The Sporting News.

BRIEFS SUBHEADf=Zapf Dingbats * s%100 w%100 l+2no f=Bureau Heavy * s=9CALLING ALL ALUMS:o Williston High School will be having an alumni baseball game Feb. 8 at 7 p.m.

All former players interested in playing should contact coach Jim Smith by Feb. 1 at 352-528-3542 during school hours and 352-528-9670 in the evening. All participants will receive a commemorative T-shirt.

Columbia's all-area and Class 4A all-state defensive lineman Allen Cray has committed to the University of South Florida. Cray, a 6-foot, 275-pounder, had 93 tackles and nine sacks in 2002. ... Following Wednesday night's games against St. Augustine Nease and Jacksonville Fletcher, respectively, the Buchholz boys and girls soccer teams are a combined 29-8-5 on the season.

John Patton is The Sun's high school sports editor. You can reach him by calling 374-5074 or by e-mail at pattonj@gvillesun.com.

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