Sports Editor’s Playbook, Friday, Jan. 7, 2011

Patrick Newell

– Today’s Athlete of the Week is the third in a line of Conway girls playing for their uncle, Bob Conway, longtime head coach of the B-G varsity team. Randi Conway, a junior, follows Dani Conway and Nikki Conway, a bridge of Conways that has extended most the past decade. Nikki played on some really good Bobcats teams in the early part of the decade, Dani finished a standout varsity career two years ago, and with over 1,500 career points, is among the top five or six all-time girls’ basketball scorers in Chenango County history.
Randi, as our article’s headline states, is “coming into her own.” Head coach Bob Conway says that the youngest Conway has many of the same offensive skills as her sister Dani. Perhaps the biggest difference between the two is their respective heights. Dani is around 6-feet tall and was a double-digit rebounder, while Randi is about five inches shorter. Randi is the more intense man-to-man defender, coach Conway said, who is pleased nonetheless to have had all three of his nieces under his direction. To many people, Randi had some big shoes to fill with Dani’s graduation in 2009. She had the opportunity to play with her sister for one season, and is steadily bearing a similar resemblance to her sister’s offensive prowess. “I don’t think (what Dani accomplished) affects Randi at all,” coach Conway said. “Dani was a great scorer and passer, and Randy has all of those abilities to score and pass. She doesn’t worry what her sisters have done, she just plays the game and enjoys the game.”

– Earlier this week, Bob Conway’s team suffered its first defeat of the season losing to Harpursville by 18 points. In the contest, the Hornets’ Hannah Kimmel scored 34 points to lead her club. Conway said he was resigned before the game to the fact that Kimmel would probably get her 30. An interesting fact, though, is that while Kimmel is typically tossing in huge numbers against just about everyone, the standout senior has fallen far short of that mark against Oxford. Earlier this season, Kimmel had 15 against the Blackhawks (her team won by 15), about half of her season average. Last season, in three games against Oxford, Kimmel was also below her season average tossing in just under 20 points a game as Harpursville won two of three meetings. “Oxford is just really physical and it battles,” Conway said of the Blackhawks. “They limit (Kimmel’s) opportunities in the paint, and (Oxford) has Haley Witchella, who covers an extra two or three feet. For some reason, the last three or four years, Everyone is having trouble scoring points at Oxford’s place. It’s not just one team or one player, it’s the whole league.”
Doing the math, Oxford gave up just over 30 points per game on its home floor last season, and it allowed 26 points in its lone home contest this season. Those types of defensive numbers typically produce victories, and Oxford is a combined 22-8 overall between last season and the first nine games this season.

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