Ford, Myles integral parts of teams' year
By Ryan Hanchett
Published in Sports on March 18, 2012 1:52 AM
Catherine Ford can score almost at will and put up offensive numbers at Wayne Country Day during four seasons that would make most girls basketball players jealous.
Ford eclipsed 1,000 points as a junior in 2011. This year the go-to guard became the leading scorer in Wayne Country Day history and led the Chargers to their fourth straight appearance in the N.C. Independent Schools Athletic Association 1-A final four.
Alexus Myles adapted to the change the Goldsboro High girls' basketball team has experienced the past three seasons. She grew from a mild-mannered sophomore under previous head coach Brandy Smith, and helped take the Cougars to the N.C. High School Athletic Association 1-A eastern regionals two consecutive years with current head coach LaTina Bullock.
For their efforts, Ford and Myles have been named the 2011-12 News-Argus All-Area girls' basketball co-players-of-the-year.
A two-time all-state pick and four-time Coastal Plains all-conference selection, Ford has a resume that's impossible to ignore. But she was a little bit surprised to see that making the Chargers go in 2012 was going to take less points, but more rebounds and more assists.
"My role really changed from last year to this year because I had to take on more of a true point guard role," Ford said. "Putting other players in position to score, rebounding and passing were really my focus in the offseason."
By putting Ford in control of the ball, WCDS head coach Eric Perry got his most prolific scorer more touches and put his offense in the hands of a capable leader. In 2012, Ford's scoring numbers remained constant, but her rebounding and assist numbers improved.
A large part of her success was Ford's ability to get the Chargers' core of young players ready for each game.
"As a senior it takes a lot of leading by example to show the younger girls how we do things both at practice and during games," Ford said. "We were fortunate that some of our younger players were ready to step up and they played some good basketball."
Wayne Country Day finished the season 15-7 -- a mark Ford said shows that Perry got the best possible effort from the team.
"Coach Perry is a great coach and a great mentor," said Ford, who plans to attend Wake Forest. "People get to see his coaching during the game, but they don't get to see all the time and the work he puts in off the court."
Myles, who plans to attend Winston-Salem State, put up the best numbers of her career in 2012 as she averaged 13 points per game and grabbed eight rebounds per contest for the Cougars. She also emerged as one of the best defenders on the floor while manning the power forward spot.
"My defense was the thing that I knew I had to work on coming into this season," Myles said. "I had to work on getting in better position and being able to grab the defensive rebound to start the fast break. Once the ball is in the hands of a guard it is all about being in good condition and getting up the floor.
"I would always try to beat the other forwards back and that left me in good positions to score in the lane."
Myles finished her share of Cougar fast breaks as well. She led the team in scoring for the season with many of those points coming at the end of an 80-foot sprint. She patterned herself after Bullock, was an elite scorer during her playing days at Norfolk State (Va.) University.
"Having a coach with (Bullock's) experience is something great for us players," Myles said. "We know that she knows what she is talking about and she knows what it takes to win big games."
Goldsboro concluded the year 24-3 overall and lost to Lakewood in the east regional semifinals at Fayetteville.
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