Wild about defense for 'Cats Girls basketball: Bridget White is known for her energy and tenacious defense, but the Wilde Lake player is stepping up her offense, too.

March 02, 1997|By Stan Rappaport | Stan Rappaport,SUN STAFF

It's not hard to spot Bridget White on the basketball court. She's the Wilde Lake player screaming on defense.

"BALL! BALL! BALL! BALL!" she yells at her opponent.

"That's Bridget," said teammate Jessie Roy-Harrison. "She has so much energy."

And she's always using it.

"I have a lot of energy," White said, "and it comes in handy when I play defense."

To an opponent, she can be annoying, tenacious and loud.

"If I scream in their faces, it rattles them," said White, whose ninth-ranked Wildecats drew a first-round bye in the playoffs and meet Atholton tomorrow night. "It's an extra distraction and gets me more in the game."

White's defense earned her playing time two years ago as a freshman and helped the Wildecats to the Class 1A state title.

"She was a big defensive spark plug," said Wilde Lake coach Kelly Storr. "She could play defense like nobody else."

She still does.

"It's always been my thing," said White, 5 feet 10.

"She's very important to us," said Storr, whose team has won back-to-back county championships, sharing this season's crown with Centennial. "She does the dirty work under the boards. She blocks out all the time, and she takes pride that she'll dive for the ball."

White considers her role that of rebounder -- she averages 12 a game -- and defensive leader. Offense is another matter.

"Scoring points has been like a super bonus for me," said White. "I have more confidence in my defense than I do in my shooting."

But Storr encourages the left-handed White to be more offensive-minded. "We definitely want her to shoot more," Storr said.

White averages 8.5 points a game but finished the regular-season with a flourish, showing more confidence than ever before. She averaged 13 points over the past four games, including 18 points against Atholton, 16 against River Hill and 14 vs. Oakland Mills.

"My offense is improving," said White, who has a decent shot from the lane and is driving to the basket with more authority.

In fact, the past four games were a statistical bonanza for White. She averaged 17.8 rebounds, 5.8 steals and 2.3 blocks.

Basketball, however, is just one of two sports White plays well. She is a two-time All-Howard County soccer player and plays for the Columbia Magic club team.

Which sport does she like best?

"That's been the question of my life," White said. "Everybody asks me. I don't know. I like both."

She doesn't know which sports she'll compete in at college but plans on playing something.

"If I didn't have sports, I would be a wreck in school. It keeps my priorities straight and keeps me organized," said White, who has 3.6 grade-point average, is a member of the National Honor Society and International Club, and wants to study veterinary medicine.

"People have told me I'm better in soccer than at basketball," she said. "But more letters [from colleges] have been for basketball than soccer."

White, who has taken piano lessons since she was 7 and played the violin until a few years ago, feels soccer has helped her basketball by improving endurance and giving her a quick first step.

White's teammates praise her for her high energy level and never-quit attitude. She is a leader by example.

"She just works really hard," Storr said. "When she does say something, they'll do anything she says. They respect her and look up to her."

Pub Date: 3/02/97

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