January 24, 2013
GREEN RIDGE — The numbers are impressive, even if the player putting them up isn’t paying much attention to them.
“I try not to keep track of my stats,” said Green Ridge center Libby Dove. “I just play for my team, just go after every ball, never give up or let any ball go.”
In 17 games so far this year, the sophomore is averaging a double-double with 14.9 points and 10.7 rebounds. The double-double has become her calling card. She put up 21 points and 11 rebounds in a win over Tipton, 17 points and 10 rebounds when the Lady Tigers beat Smithton, 11 points and 15 rebounds against Slater, and 14 points and 10 rebounds against Montrose.
“She’s stepped up a lot from last year,” said Green Ridge senior guard Clare Chamberlin. “She practiced hard in PE and everything. She just goes at it the whole time.”
Chamberlin played a big role in Dove’s improvement as well.
“Clare has pretty much taken her under her wing and brought her around,” said Lady Tigers coach Donnie Mayes. “I don’t know if Libby liked it at first. They get after it in practice.”
The partnership between the two players has worked, helping Green Ridge jump out to a 12-5 record overall and a 4-2 mark in the Kaysinger Conference. Dove tries to simply follow the example Chamberlin has set in Green Ridge while Chamberlin encourages Dove to simply play her game.
“She’s been teaching me, working on my free throws a lot,” Dove said. “I just go for her never-give-up attitude. That seems to work for her.”
That partnership has also benefited the Lady Tigers in the transition game. Against Tipton on Tuesday, Green Ridge faced the Cardinals’ full-court press for much of the second half. Often it would be Dove and Chamberlin breaking it with one finding the other for the layup.
“You’ve just got to keep your head up,” Dove said of running the transition game. “Know where your teammates are, know when to set a pick so they can run the ball up the floor. Just be ready for anything.”
Dove stepped into the starting lineup five games into last season. She said she was told at the time to forget that she was a freshman and just play. It’s a lesson she has taken into her sophomore year.
“I try not to think of my age as something to stop me,” she said.
With a year of varsity experience under Dove’s belt, Mayes has seen more maturity from her on the court this season.
“Last year, one mistake and it would just snowball into two, three and four,” he said. “We’re down to two right now and we try to keep weeding that down.”
Dove has also learned that in order to be an effective player, she has to be on the court.
“Last year I fouled out almost every game and I made some stupid fouls, but I’m trying to get better at that,” she said.
She also wants to be a better ball handler and said she’s a lot more comfortable in the lineup this season.
“I think I’m getting better at knowing where my teammates are and getting assists,” she said. “Last year I had hardly any assists and I’m getting better at that this year.”
Lincoln at Green Ridge
6:30 p.m. Friday