Springwood girls seniors leading team

Published 7:30 am Tuesday, January 21, 2020

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While sixth-grader Tori Patillo has been a focal point for most of its opponents this season, the Springwood girls’ basketball team is led by their two seniors Andie Martin and McKayla Barber.

Barber is the team’s starting point guard, while Martin is the starting center.

The pair produce on the floor, but for head coach Lisa Sampson, the pair’s leadership is what makes the biggest difference for the Wildcats.

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“From them, it’s been leadership from day one,” Springwood head coach Lisa Sampson said. “They’re so positive with everybody, it just is contagious. They’re the reason they are the reason why we are successful.”

In the previous Alabama Sports Writers Association prep poll, the Wildcats were the No. 8 team in AISA. With three games left in the year, the Wildcats are 13-4.

The pair have been together for the last four years,  which allowed them to build a special connection on and off the court.

On the court, the seniors are role models. They talk on the floor, encourage other players and are offensive threats.

“This year to me, it’s probably been the most fun, and we’ve all grown and have good chemistry together because we’ve been playing for a long time,” Barber said.” So we’re just developing like a stronger sense of like what each other, we’re going to do so, it’s just really fun.”

The pair usually are two of the most unselfish players on the court, usually trying to make a pass than score.

“I told Andie, she’s one of the best shooters that we have, and I don’t think she takes enough shots. I’m hoping as we get into region play, that she’s going to look for a shot more,” Sampson said.

Barber is the same way. In the Wildcats’ win against Chambers Academy on Thursday, Barber had only two points till the fourth quarter. In a timeout, Sampson had to tell her to take more shots. She scored eight points in the quarter, which were huge as the Wildcats defeated their rival by 12 points.

Off the floor, the pair are best friends.

One of the keys to their friendship is laughter.

“We just like laugh at everything,” Barber said. “We’ll just look at someone start laughing we’ll do something, mess up and start laughing. Even if something isn’ funny, we’ll start laughing.”

The Wildcats are home against area opponent Glenwood on Tuesday.