Gettemy does the little things for No. 8 South Carroll

January 29, 1995|By Bill Free | Bill Free,Sun Staff Writer

A throwback.

A role player.

The glue that holds South Carroll together.

Unsung hero.

Miss Hustle.

Grunger.

All of the above describe Melissa Gettemy, a basketball player for the South Carroll girls team that is ranked No. 8 in the Baltimore metro poll.

Grunger?

"That means I'm scrappy. I grunge for the ball no matter where it is. It doesn't matter if it's on the floor, going out of bounds or in someone else's hands," said the 5-foot-9 senior forward. "It's funny when I fall on the floor while going for the ball. I don't even feel it."

Gettemy is a throwback to the days when almost all the players didn't mind doing the dirty work that is necessary to win games.

The dirtier the job on the court, the more Gettemy seems to enjoy it.

"I never go into a game thinking about scoring enough points to win a game," she said. "I don't even care if I score or not. I'm just thinking about winning the game. The same is true for everybody our team. Not one single person says, 'I have to score a lot of points for us to win.' That kind of thinking is how you lose games."

Gettemy loves setting picks, blocking out on the boards, working the ball inside to Nicole Spencer, playing man-to-man against the other team's top scorer and flying out of bounds to keep a ball in play that is going out off the Cavaliers.

There have been countless times when Gettemy has made a save that led to two points for the Cavaliers (winners of 15 straight games after a season-opening loss to Hammond).

That doesn't count as an assist or appear in the box score anywhere, but Gettemy isn't concerned even though she needs to attract attention from college scouts to fulfill a dream of playing at a higher level.

"I've been playing basketball so long [13 years], I don't think I could stop," she said. "I want to play basketball somewhere in college, even if it is intramurals."

Gettemy's statistics (7.6 points a game, six rebounds, three assists, two steals) show her versatility and some of her hard work, but they would never jump out and hit any college coach in the face.

"My dad [Bud, an assistant principal at Francis Scott Key] tells me the college coaches look at the little things like assists," said Gettemy. "I've applied to Mount St. Mary's, Western Maryland, Towson State, West Virginia Wesleyan and the University of Delaware. West Virginia Wesleyan wants me for volleyball."

As South Carroll heads into the home stretch and shoots for a state 3A championship, Gettemy joins Spencer and point guard Amber Clutter on an emotional journey that is concluding four years of playing basketball together on the varsity.

This is their last shot at a state 3A title.

They are close friends and unselfish players and have developed a certain chemistry on the court.

"When I'm in mid-air for a jumper, I often dish it off to her [Spencer]," said Gettemy. "We click. We complement each other. She has caught the ball every time I've passed it to her in that situation."

All three were first-team All-Carroll County picks last season, with Spencer being the Player of the Year.

At times, Gettemy has been overshadowed by Spencer and Clutter, but there is no resentment.

"No one on our team is envious of anyone else," she said. "Sometimes none of us wants to be the one to take a shot, especially in the first quarter. It takes us to the second quarter to get over that idea of all being unselfish at the same time."

There was one game last season in which Gettemy went on an unusual scoring and rebounding tear (21 points and 18 rebounds against Westminster).

That game was a showdown for the county title, which South Carroll lost in overtime, 63-59.

It brought back memories for Gettemy of her early recreation basketball days when she was more advanced than Clutter and capable of stopping Spencer.

"I played against Amber when she was 7 years old," said Gettemy. "She has definitely improved since then. And I played against Nicole in the eighth grade and I could stop her. She hasn't always been 5 foot 9."

South Carroll coach Al Skierski labeled Gettemy as one of the best passers he has coached.

"Melissa is very team-oriented and very giving. All the girls are giving, but Melissa is outstanding in that category," he said.

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