The Times West Virginian

Sports

December 25, 2013

County teams use youth to spark early success

FAIRMONT — In gardening, a hotbed is a place of fertile dirt that breeds lush, green plants when the time is right.

In basketball terms, one could argue that Marion County has become a hotbed for young girls’ basketball talent.

Each of the three teams has underclassmen who are stepping above and beyond their calling for their respective teams.

Megan Haller, a sophomore guard for North Marion, has been playing just about as good as anyone in the area in the early goings.

Coming into the 2013 season, Haller had valuable experience from her freshman year.

“She started as a freshman (last year),” North Marion coach Mike Parrish said of Haller. “She had a good season. She came on midway through the year and at the end of the year with sectionals and regionals.”

Parrish said he expected the 5-foot-6 guard to become more of a leader this season, and that’s exactly what she’s done.

Averaging 16.0 points per game, Haller has only had one game this season where she hasn’t been in double digits. She started the season with a 26-point performance against Berkeley Springs and hasn’t taken her foot off the gas pedal.

Though there are the inevitable flaws in her game, Parrish knows he’s got something good going.

The sophomore played only 15 minutes in the team’s three-point loss to AAA Wheeling Park this past Saturday, but she scored 14 points, speaking to her abilities.

“She’s been getting in foul trouble some games, so we’re looking for her to get out of that and keep her in the game a little longer,” Parrish said. “She’s one of the best shooters I’ve seen.”

Haller is indeed a game-changer, as she’s shooting a blistering 19-of-37 from behind the 3-point mark this season.

She’ll look to keep her current three-game stretch with double-figure points alive when the team travels to its Disney Tournament later this week.

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