Heffley takes over driver's seat for Fallston

December 19, 1993|By Mark Hoeflich | Mark Hoeflich,Contributing Writer

Lori Heffley finds herself in a position that she has been ready for since she was a freshman -- running the Fallston girls basketball team at point guard.

In leading the No. 13 Cougars to a 5-0 start this season, Heffley has emerged as the player that coach Nancy Ferguson always has anticipated her to be, averaging 15.3 points, six assists and 6.3 steals a game.

All of those numbers are significantly up from a year ago when Heffley struggled in every part of her game. She always has put a lot of pressure upon herself to play well, this year being no different, and a great work ethic along with some improvements in the off-season have helped her put last season behind her.

"My shot has improved and I'm not as timid about taking a shot, and I also worked on my dribbling and drive to the basket," said Heffley.

Heffley, one of four juniors who start for Fallston (all of whom have played together for the last three years), actually might be more of a threat when it comes to passing the ball, as noted by her 19 assists this season.

And being the only true backcourt player, coupled with losing last season's leading scorer, Heffley knew she needed to step forward and score more.

"We've never really been an offensive team. We're usually more concerned with defense and with losing our scorers from last year. Someone had to step up and I was ready even before the season started," said Heffley.

Heffley is playing with more confidence, something Ferguson sees when Heffley drives to the basket.

"She is going to the basket real well and she is starting to play a game a guard should, driving to the basket, picking up the fouls, going to the line where she is definitely a strong shooter," said Ferguson.

Ferguson added that she always knew Heffley had the potential to get to the level she is now. It was just a matter of drawing upon it.

"She loves the sport. This is her bread and butter, and she is doing everything she can. Not that it was any different than last year, it was just the chips didn't fall that way," said Ferguson.

"She is playing a lot in the off-season. She is going to camp and sometimes as a freshman a player will come in with all these attributes and make the varsity squad and forget about all the hard work it took to get there, but Lori continues to work on her game."

And much of that comes from Heffley's support at home.

"She will go home after practice and shoot with her father and I think her dad has been a great help in encouraging her and when you have the support at home, it is that much more of a helpful situation," Ferguson said.

There is no coincidence between Fallston's move up to 2A and Heffley raising her game. She remains confident that she can continue to score and said she has yet to feel any increased pressure.

"I think I put too much pressure on myself at times but since we haven't played the tough part of our schedule I don't feel any pressure," said Heffley. "Maybe if we make it to regionals I'll feel it them.

"We need someone to step up and score. We have never really had one scorer on the team. We just need someone who is consistent because we've never had that."

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