Do not tell Talawanda senior Bristyl Webb contributing basketball assists is only a supporting role. For her, setting the school career record in that category makes her part of the team, not just supporting those who do the scoring.
Coach Kim Richter agrees.
The team’s 68-35 win at Badin Thursday gave the team a 10-0 record for the season and half of those wins came in Southwest Ohio Conference, the most recent SWOC win at Little Miami last Saturday, Dec. 22, by a 57-25 score.
The Talawanda girls’ basketball team is continuing their strong run of the past couple years with a team that plays well together and gets along well together as well as embracing their roles on the court. One of those roles is Webb’s setting up teammates who put the ball in the basket.
Webb has been a varsity player for the Talawanda basketball team since her freshman year and she recently set a school career record for assists, which now stands at 236 through 10 games this season, heading into a non-league home game scheduled for Monday, Dec. 31, against Eaton.
“You have to work for it. I can’t have success by myself without my teammates. They have to do the other half of it,” Webb said of her role of getting the ball to the shooters. “You have to know your teammates’ strengths and where they are comfortable taking the shots. You have to trust your teammates and be unselfish.”
She has embraced her role, something many players do not like since they would rather score the points themselves. Webb said she loves her role as an assist leader.
“I enjoy helping people and helping them succeed,” she said. “I want to help them score.”
It’s not easy, either. She has worked hard at perfecting her role setting up the scoring and takes pride in doing that job well.
Richter, in her second year as Talawanda girls’ coach, has high praise for her team and their hard work and said Webb has excelled in a role that puts other players in the spotlight.
“I’ve had Bristyl for two years now (as a coach). She was one of the first, when we got here, who caught the vision of team,” Richter said. “Bristyl sees the floor very well and is a smart player. She knows the strengths of her teammates to get them the ball. Sometimes, it’s a non-glorious position to be in. I hope she gets some glory for being unselfish. I can’t ask for more as a coach.”
The coach said they moved Webb around in different positions and she accepted the changes without complain, see the bigger picture of the team’s success.
“We moved her around a lot to point guard and she was not familiar with that. She did a good job learning her role. She is an excellent passer and great on defense, as well, both areas that do not get much attention,” Richter said.
Webb’s new career record surpasses the 222 mark held by Lara Pavloff, class of 1998.
“We have a lot of the season ahead,” Richter said, adding she expects Webb to continue to add to her assist record. “It will be a hard record to break. She will be hard to replace.”
As one of triplets there were a lot of family games that went into her growth as a player but her assist record was honed at home.
“I was still the passer there,” she said with a smile. “It’s neat when I’m on the floor and make an assist and they make the shot to think it does not go unnoticed when they say, ‘Nice pass.’ “
With much of the 2012-13 season still ahead, Webb does not see her role changing, overall, but says she does want to be shooting more than she usually does, with the encouragement of her teammates and coaches.
“I plan to be more of an offensive threat. My teammates tell me I should shoot more when I’m open. I have a good shot and need to believe in myself more,” she said.
Coach Richter smiled and added, “She is a good shooter, as well. She needs to develop that aspect.”
Webb said there has been a lot of player turnover in the past four years, adding her sister, Brilyn, is the only player on the team with her over all four years. Richter said the Webb sisters and other teammates over the past three years have worked to bring the program up to the level it now enjoys.
“The program has come a long way, in part due to Bristyl and her wanting the program to be a success. The program has taken a big step,” Richter said.