EDWARDSVILLE - Sophomore guard Zay Hoover is emerging as a key component to the girls' basketball team at Edwardsville High, and played a key role in the Tigers' 39-25 win over Belleville West on Jan. 10, scoring 12 points in the win that took Edwardsville to 8-9 on the season.
Hoover is currently averaging 4.6 points and 1.6 rebounds-per-game, going along with nine assists, seven steals and three blocked shots, also helping to play good defense in the win over the Maroons.
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In a postgame interview that followed the win over West, Hoover was very happy to get the victory.
"I'm glad we were able to pull out the win," she said.
The Tigers didn't enjoy a very good shooting night, missing several shots, but the defense helped gain the win, which was very satisfying indeed.
"I was really proud of myself," Hoover said, "because usually, I'm not very aggressive on defense. So today, my goal was to attack the offensive players so I could get some steals and contribute to my team defensively."
Hoover is enjoying a good season thus far and feels that her quality of play has been good, trying to make a play every chance she gets.
"I think that I've been doing well with my time in the game," Hoover said. "Like I try to make a play every possession. So, if I haven't touched the ball and either defensively or offensively at least once back down the court, I know that I need to start attacking a bit more so I can help my team."
Hoover and the Tigers have been playing well since the Visitation Christmas Tournament over the holidays, and have currently won five of their last six games. With the conference schedule now in full swing, Hoover has set many attainable goals for herself and the team going into the playoffs in late February and March.
"Well, my goal is to just continue playing how I have," Hoover said, "and just keep on attacking because I know that my greatest attribute is to drive and get to the basket. So I'm just trying to help my team as much as possible."
The Tigers face a very important rematch against an undefeated Alton team on Jan. 12, having lost to the Redbirds 55-42 on Dec. 1. Hoover felt that the Tigers would be ready for the game.
"I'm very excited because I know the first game we played against them, at that time, we really didn't understand our roles," Hoover said. "But now, we understand how to play together way more, so I'll bet that Thursday will be a great game."