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TMC women's basketball: Zoe Scott, Sudden impact

Mustangs freshman emerging as threat off the bench

Posted: December 15, 2010 9:50 p.m.
Updated: December 16, 2010 4:55 a.m.

The Master’s College freshman guard Zoe Scott has established herself as the team’s first player off the bench this season. She is the Mustangs’ third-leading scoring with 9.5 points per game despite seeing limited action early in the year.

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This all began a long time ago.

At the start of The Master's College women's basketball season, Zoe Scott was just a soft-spoken freshman who had never played a minute at the collegiate level.

Just over a month into the season, she is the team's third-best scorer, and from the outside looking in, has come out of nowhere.

Teammate and starting guard Ella Joines suspected something months before the start of the season.

"I think when we started scrimmaging without any kind of referees or rules, but just the 12 of us on the team, she was just playing and doing her thing and I was like ‘OK, she can do this,'" Joines says.

Scott serves as Joines' backup, and though she has yet to start a game this season, she has quickly established herself on a team off to a 6-2 start to the 2010-11 season.

"I want to start, but I know that I can do just fine coming off the bench, and I'm completely OK with that role because I know I'm helping my team out in every way possible," Scott says.

But her emergence as the sixth man started earlier than preseason scrimmages.

Her first glimpse of TMC head coach Dan Waldeck came during her sophomore year at University High School in Spokane, Wash., when she was playing in a tournament in Phoenix.

Through a family connection, Waldeck met her and kept an eye on her from that point on.

"When I recruited her, I recruited her for about three years and that whole process was about setting her up to come in and have immediate success," Waldeck says.

And it was immediate.

She scored a team-leading 17 points in 31 minutes of play in the season opener against Bethany on Nov. 12.

In eight games this year, she's averaging 9.5 points per game and 3.1 rebounds, which is fourth best on the team.

She didn't end up playing for the Mustangs 1,300 miles away from her home town just because of accurate shooting and aggressive defense though.

"She's always looking and asking how to get better and what she can improve on," Waldeck says. "She's got great balance. She's a great kid, very fun to be around, and her teammates love her."

When Scott arrived on campus in the summer, she made an instant connection with many of the Mustangs, freshmen and upperclassmen alike, she says.

She quickly earned the respect of the other players with her persistent energy on the court.

"I never want to give up because I know that everybody is fighting for a position and fighting for playing time, and obviously people are going to play and people are going to be competitive every day," Scott says. "So I guess I just always have the mentality to not come to practice like it's a day off."

Perhaps the events that led to her appearance at TMC started even further back than high school.

Up until eighth grade, she split time between soccer and basketball, but switched to hoops full-time after that.

Scott says she was better at soccer, but decided to play a sport in which she was less proven.

"I just like the challenge of always trying to get better and, not trying to prove myself to people who doubted me, but trying to just become the best that I could be," Scott says.

Six years later, she's trying just as hard to take her game a step or two further.

Sure, she's the first one off the bench now for the Mustangs, but in years to come, her days as a bench player could be a distant memory.

If she keeps improving at the pace she's going, Waldeck says she may crack the starting lineup later this year.

But that all might depend on Joines, Scott's teammate and good friend on the team.

"The great thing about (Scott) is she came in as a freshman and was behind a big returner - Ella Joines - who is a junior, and Ella majorly took her game to another level. But Zoe didn't let it faze her," Waldeck says.

So far, Scott hasn't let much of anything faze her in her basketball career, and she doesn't see that changing anytime soon.

"I think it would be awesome to play after college whether it would be here or overseas," Scott says. "But I don't know, we'll see what's in store."

 

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