Lady Dragons guard has big shoes to fill

Posted Monday, Jul. 22, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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The shoes Rebecca Gordon will fill in 2013-2014 aren’t so much a concern as a welcomed challenge.

The soon-to-be two-year Carroll starting guard used the fall to be sure her skill level reached a level that has been higher than at any point of her of 11 years to play the game. Gordon will essentially take the role Kami Mickens vacated by graduation.

No one is expecting the senior-to-be Gordon to be another Mickens. While that would be nice, that’s just not fair to her. The idea is for her to be as mature in her game as possible.

“I’ve been concentrating on my shooting and working on defense,” Gordon said. “Kami was really good. She was really hard to guard and really frustrating to teams when she played defense. All I’m trying to do is just make my game more even all around.”

Gordon has locked herself in a gym all summer long. Playing the point and shooting guard, her AAU team, North Texas Shooters 2014, just finished winning a national tournament in San Antonio about 10 days ago.

But it doesn’t hurt to know people. She took advantage of an invitation to join Carroll teammate Gretchen Morrison on the Elevation Elite 2014 and play in a tournament this week in New Orleans. The more competition she encounters, the better.

Carroll coach Teri Morrison needed Gordon to be a glue player in 2012-2013. Mickens, Kennedy Leonard and Morrison established themselves as that Class 5A Region I quarterfinalist scoring trio. Gordon averaged about four points per game.

That changes in November. Along with the defense, she’s going to have to be even stronger with the ball and become a scoring threat. Carroll will still use two point guards in this offense between Leonard doing the bulk of the ball handling and Gordon picking her spots.

“I’ve become confident in dribbling,” she said. “My court vision has improved and I think just my overall basketball IQ has. I play with boys in the Keller gym and have just watched a lot of basketball to see how guards read the defenses.

“When I used to handle the ball, I would go full speed. But this summer, I’m really not rushing everything anymore. That will help cutting down turnovers.”

Gordon (5-6) has been working on her ability to drive the ball to the basket and then back off to create a shot. If she can establish the will to score the ball, she’s going to start showing up in a lot of team’s scouting report. She’s already showing up in several small college program’s reports. Trinity University in San Antonio and Austin College in Sherman are among the Division III schools showing interest.

“Rebecca is going to pick up the defensive responsibilities with Kami leaving,” Morrison said. “She’s worked really hard in the offseason to be an important piece in our run for a championship in the upcoming season.”

Not a day goes by that Gordon and others still think about how the Region I quarterfinal loss to Lubbock Coronado got away from them in the second half. Carroll led 29-26 at the half and was within striking distance in the fourth quarter. Maybe that serves as motivation.

“The senior leadership is going to be big,” she said. “There are four of us who have played since we were 7 or 8. We got too complacent in the Coronado game. We know what we have to do.”

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