GIRLS BASKETBALL

Griffith girls basketball team finds its measure of consistency in Blackard

2013-02-14T17:15:00Z 2013-02-15T01:16:06Z Griffith girls basketball team finds its measure of consistency in BlackardHillary Smith hillary.smith@nwi.com, (219) 933-3233 nwitimes.com
February 14, 2013 5:15 pm  • 

GRIFFITH | Griffith's girls basketball team keeps a chart of some of the things that can't be seen in the average box score.

In lieu of every statistic kept during a game, this one assigns point values to different activities. For instance, a basket is +2 points, a turnover is -2 points. The most points (+4) come from taking a charge.

Emma Blackard has a lot of +4s next to her name.

"She's not afraid to step in there," Griffith coach Tom Golumbeck said. "She's just a tough-nosed kid. She's one of our better rebounders, and she doesn't mind being physical and throwing her body around and boxing people out."

Quiet and non-argumentative, Blackard didn't hesitate to take on the challenges handed to her this season. When the Panthers lost player after player to injuries and illnesses, Blackard was moved from her typical guard position to the inside post.

At 5-foot-6, she was charged with guarding some of the larger post players in the area.

She took on the challenge without hesitation.

"It was weird at the beginning of the year to be in the post one game, then going back to being a guard," Blackard said. "I just tried to do my best each night at whatever position they needed me.

"It definitely had its challenges, because in one game I could go from being a 4-5, to being a 2."

The next challenge is to face Plymouth, the No. 10-ranked team in Class 3A, in one semifinal game of Saturday's Rensselaer Regional.

Golumbeck is counting on Blackard's consistency to maintain the Panthers as the postseason continues.

In addition to leading her team in assists, she has hit 30 3-pointers this season.

"It's not all just God-given ability, she's worked since her freshman year to get better every year," Golumbeck said. "She's a hard-working kid that has improved every year."

Blackard averages 8.2 points per game.

"I wanted to help the team as much as possible," Blackard said of this season. "I wanted to be a leader and do what I could to help the team succeed."

"She's just so good at everything," Golumbeck said. "She's so steady that I just figure she'll do what she does every game."

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