Some things changed for Shauna Watson and some things stayed the same. Both were good things for the Concordia senior.
A year after the Cadets won the Class 3A state championship, the cupboard appeared to be bare with the graduation of four key senior starters. But Watson stepped into the point guard spot occupied by Andrea Newbauer for the previous four years and took control of a team that surprised many by getting within a game of a return to the state finals.
We had a lot of guards on our team last year, and we graduated a lot of those, Watson said. Different people had to step up and take different roles. It was a definitely a role-shift for me. I went from not playing a whole lot last year to playing almost the whole game this year. It was definitely different.
A year after averaging 2.8 points, 1.1 rebounds and 0.9 assists as one of the top reserves for the Cadets, the 5-foot-8 Watson averaged 8 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists and 4 steals. Her limited minutes in 2009-10 turned into the most time on the court for the Cadets.
She played the most minutes on the team, said Dave Miller, her coach at Concordia and on the Indiana team for Saturdays Nancy Rehm Border Wars Classic. She would never come out of a game.
When you have a (Angie) Doerffler and a Newbauer, and theyve started since they were freshmen, it is pretty hard to displace them. She just went from coming off the bench and playing 6 to 8 minutes a game and just did a tremendous job for us this year. I really liked how she stepped up and assumed leadership of the team. She is a very unselfish player. She wasnt worried about scoring in double figures or anything like that; she just ran the team.
The Hanover recruit stepped in perfectly, taking the place of Newbauer, who is playing basketball at Indiana University, and Doerffler, who is playing softball at Valparaiso.
She has a great motor, Miller said of Watson. She can play 32 minutes, and you do not see a drop-off. I think her best basketball is ahead of her.
We have been very spoiled (at point guard). We have some young kids now who need to step into that role. We will see how they develop.
The significant improvement by Watson and some other players helped the Cadets to an 18-8 record and a trip to the semistate, where they lost to Benton Central 42-39.
It earned Watson a spot on the Indiana team for Saturdays Nancy Rehm Border Wars Classic.
A lot of these girls I played AAU with, and I know a lot of them, Watson said of playing on the Indiana team.
It is almost like a reunion for me. When I was younger (kindergarten through eighth grade), I went to Carroll, so I know a lot the Carroll girls too. It is a fun experience to get to hang out with them again.