Gettemy well-schooled in game

February 09, 1994|By Bill Free | Bill Free,Sun Staff Writer

When Melissa Gettemy cuts across the lane, takes a pass and squares up for a feathery 15-foot jumper, it is apparent that she has been well-versed in the fundamentals of basketball.

Almost every offensive move Gettemy makes on the court is smooth. She can drive gracefully to the basket with the best high school girls in the Baltimore area.

But the South Carroll standout turns into a bit of a roughneck when it is time to crash the boards or play defense in the middle of the team's 2-3 zone.

A 5-foot-9 junior, she has been starting since ninth grade and is averaging 12.0 points and 9.5 rebounds this season. About the only thing missing from her game is a consistent outside shot.

"Melissa is rebounding, scoring, driving to the basket and passing well," said Cavaliers coach Al Skierski. "She's a combination of our Nicole Spencer [5-10 junior center] and Amber Clutter [5-4 junior point guard]. All three of them are playing together as starters for the third year and getting comfortable with each other. They are the core of our team."

Gettemy said her father, Bud, taught her the moves in the lane and to shoot with a soft touch.

The physical stuff comes from playing three years (fourth, fifth and sixth grades) on a boys youth league team in Winfield and growing up with two older brothers (Marc and Eric) who played basketball against her.

"My dad taught me ball sense and seeing the court well," Gettemy said. "He played high school basketball in western Pennsylvania and football in college. And playing against boys forced me to be rougher and meaner than if I had played against girls."

Her favorite move is the drive to the basket that opens up a lot of options for the 3A Cavaliers, who hope to do better this season in the regional playoffs. Last year, South Carroll lost to Howard in the regional semifinals.

With Spencer back full time this season after missing more than half of last year with a torn anterior cruciate ligament, the Cavaliers could be a force in the regionals.

"If we can get pumped up for the first quarter of games like we do for the third and fourth quarters, I believe we'll make it to the states," Gettemy said.

Gettemy seems to be taking on the responsibility of scoring more in recent games because it is obvious that Clutter would rather pass the ball than shoot.

She scored 19 points Wednesday night in a 66-49 victory over Thomas Johnson that raised the 12th-ranked Cavaliers' record to 10-3 overall and 5-1 in the Central Maryland Conference.

The 19 points were only two shy of her career high, which she reached twice earlier this season.

Each day Gettemy works hard in practice to improve her outside shooting that is needed to take pressure off Spencer inside.

If she can improve that phase of her game, there is no telling how far South Carroll could go.

Gettemy will never lack for constructive criticism about her play.

Skierski is constantly talking to her, and when she goes home, there are Dad and Marc and Eric to face.

"My whole family sits down at home after a game and tells me what I'm doing wrong," she said. "I look up to my brothers a lot. They both played at South Carroll, but weren't starters."

This family basketball affair makes life easier for Skierski and the Cavaliers.

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