Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Seniors’ leadership will be missed

This Saturday, the Plattsburgh State women’s basketball team will host their senior game, and it could be the last time that seniors Brittany Marshall and Yazmin Lewis step on the hardwood in Memorial.

“They are what coaches want to see in their seniors,” head coach Cheryl Cole said. “They know what the right thing is and they do the right thing.”

Marshall has been doing many things right lately, averaging 13.9 points per game. As a freshman, she started earning her minutes and hit the ground running from there, with no intentions of looking back.

Over the course of her career, she’s joined the prestigious 1,000-point club and broke the all-time school record for assists in Tuesday’s win. Marshall’s success is not confined between the baselines of a basketball court, however.

“Brit’s work ethic is unreal,” junior forward Devona Paul said. “She plays softball and basketball, she’s a certified EMT and she’s the hardest working person I know.”

Hard work and determination are two things that do not run scarce in this senior class. Although Lewis does have as much of an impact as Marshall when it coming to the stat box, her leadership by no means went unnoticed.

“She has a complete understanding of the game,” assistant coach Ben Sarraf said. “Yaz covers the little things, and she’s the type of player you don’t see every year.

You don’t see a player like her every four years, and we’re lucky to have her.”

Lewis is recognized as the glue of the team. Throughout her career, she has been able to break down the age barriers of the team. From freshmen to seniors, Lewis has successfully been able to relate and be there for every one of her teammates. Paul describes Lewis as the epitome of a good teammate.

On paper, there will be two slots open for next season on the roster. However, the loss that most people won’t see is the loss that the coaching staff will suffer. Both seniors have excelled in preparing their team during the season as well as the offseason.

Division III rules state that the coaches can host practices during the offseason until October 15, but due to the commitment of the two seniors, this was not a concern for the coaching staff.

“Brit gets everyone organized without the guidance of the coaching staff,” Sarraf said. “She’s a huge piece of the program.”
Lewis also had an impact tantamount to that of Marshall when it came to getting involved in the program.

“Her importance to our team cannot be measured in minutes played or points scored,” Cole said. “She’s always been behind the scenes, and we wouldn’t have won the SUNYAC conference without her last year.”

For their fellow teammates, it is tough to think about going into next year without their leaders, but the ideals that these two women have preached for the past four years will not be forgotten by their peers. Whether it is on or off the court, both Marshall and Lewis have taught their teammates many important lessons.

“I will always pass on everything that they have taught me,” Paul said.

Email Kevin Morley at kevin.morley@cardinalpointsonline.com

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