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High Schools

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Cathie Rowand | The Journal Gazette
Haley Richardson averaged 12 points and 9 rebounds last year.

Richardson ready to push Chargers

6-foot-2 senior headed to BSU

– If Haley Richardson had it her way, the West Noble girls basketball team wouldn’t run any plays on offense.

“We’d push the whole game,” Richardson said with a laugh during a recent phone interview. “We’d get up and down the court.”

Speed is a key part of Richardson’s game. The Ball State recruit averaged 12 points last season for the Chargers.

“She’s a dynamite player,” West Noble coach Dale Marano said. “She runs the floor real well. She gets up and down the floor pretty good.”

The 6-foot-2 Richardson led the Chargers in scoring on the way to earning All-NECC honors and averaged 9 rebounds, 1.9 blocks and 2 assists.

“Haley constantly promotes our program,” Marano said. “She promotes not only on the basketball floor, but in our community and in school. She’s a great representative of what we’re about in our program. She’s a super girl.

“She’s grown as a basketball player year to year. She’s matured as a leader. We’ve seen that early on in her senior year. She’s stepped up as a leader for the team. We had a strong senior class last year when she was a junior, so she didn’t have to play that role. This year, vocally, she’s really stepped it up.”

Richardson said it’s “bittersweet” entering her senior season.

“I’m really excited to start my senior year. I really want it to be my best year yet,” she said. “We have the team to do it. We have the talent. I’m pretty excited.”

She’s picked up a lot along the way.

“Coach has taught me a lot. He taught me moves and to keep my focus on the game and if I miss a shot, don’t worry about it, just keep trying. And if you miss 10 shots, don’t let it get to you; just keep pushing hard,” she said. “Don’t get down on yourself. Just really push. He really pushes defense.”

Richardson said defense is one of her favorite aspects of the game.

“I like to get down and have a good defensive team. We’re going to play man, which I like,” she said.

She also likes it when the team ups the tempo on offense.

“It’s helped me a lot getting up and down. My quickness helps me score a lot,” she said. “The fast break, they give me the ball – I score pretty much probably on fast breaks.”

Marano said Richardson can play both forward positions in college. Richardson said many factors led to her decision to pick Ball State. She had received some interest from Eastern Illinois. When coach Brady Sallee made the move from Eastern Illinois to Ball State, the Cardinals became a top option.

“I visited and really liked the campus and really loved the coaches. They are awesome,” she said. “I really like all the girls there and the campus and it’s close to home, I really like that. I really clicked with all the girls.”

Richardson hopes everything clicks for the Chargers. West Noble returns its top three scorers from last year’s 13-10 team that lost to Northwood in the sectional championship game.

“I want to go out with a bang,” she said.

lpope@jg.net

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