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Senior captain power forward Rebecca Shamp is making her presence known in the paint by averaging seven rebounds and two blocks per game for the Morgan girls’ basketball team this season. (Photo courtesy of Rebecca Shamp )
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The Morgan girls’ basketball team recently completed an excellent regular season that saw the Huskies finish with a record of 14-6. One of the focal points in the Huskies’ success has been Rebecca Shamp’s ability to muscle her way into the paint and hold things down underneath the hoop, no matter the size of her adversaries.
Rebecca is a senior captain and three-year varsity starter who plays power forward. This year, she’s averaging seven rebounds and two blocks per game for the Huskies, who followed up their regular season slate by defeating Portland in the quarterfinals of the Shoreline Conference Tournament. Morgan is playing in the Class M State Tournament this week.
“I love the competitiveness of basketball and having two teams that both want to win,” says Rebecca. “My hustle and willingness to go against any other team’s post player has helped me. I’m not as tall, so sometimes it takes that extra effort, and I’ve been able to contribute with rebounding and tough defense.”
At 5-foot-7, Rebecca has to hustle a little harder in order to bring down boards while going up against bigger opponents. While that can certainly take its toll, Rebecca has the fire inside her to make an impact in the interior.
“I love getting the chance to show my strength, and fighting for rebounds is so rewarding to me,” Rebecca says. “Some of the tougher parts are when it takes that extra effort, because I’m not as tall as the other players. So, I just try to box them out.”
Rebecca had a great opportunity to sharpen her skills when she practiced with Morgan’s varsity team during her freshman season. It was intimidating at first, but the experience helped Rebecca find her form and build confidence as she entered the latter half of her high school career.
“Mentally, I’ve gotten more relaxed on the court. It was scary my freshman year, because we had a strong team with good players. So, it got in my head, but I became more calmed and focused later,” says Rebecca. “Physically, I’ve gotten stronger. I went against some strong players my freshman and sophomore years, so it prepared me for my junior and senior seasons.”
Rebecca feels that Morgan’s record is a direct reflection of the Huskies’ synergy on the floor. She says that every athlete on the squad knows their role, as well as the tendencies of their teammates.
“We work as a team, and everyone is contributing in their own way,” Rebecca says. “Everyone contributes in unique ways, which helps us take down the good teams. We have great teamwork and know each other’s strengths.”
Huskies’ Head Coach Caitlin Woods praises Rebecca for her tenacity on the glass. Woods says that Rebecca’s aggressiveness in the paint provides a prime example of the determination every coach wants to see from a leader.
“Becca is an exceptional athlete and senior captain who exhibits a tremendous work ethic. She is absolutely fearless, and she dominates the boards, despite the fact that she is outsized by the majority of her matchups,” Woods says. “She veritably embodies what it means to be an aggressive, determined, and intelligent basketball player. As a three-year starter, Becca’s contributions have been paramount to our team, and we are really going to miss her next year.”
As Morgan gets ready to play in states, Rebecca wants the Huskies to continue bringing the intensity on defense, while staying loose, yet efficient, on the offensive end.
“We’re pretty confident we can be successful in the postseason. Our main focus is to be strong on defense, but be relaxed on offense,” says Rebecca. “We just have to stay relaxed in these big games and let what we know how to do come to us.”
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