Friday November 30, 2012 | By:Michael J. Petro | Sports
Immaculata senior Taylor Heinold looks to play a smarter game after averaging over 20 points last season. (File photo courtesy of Ron Larson)
In game planning how to match up against Immaculata Academy, Taylor Heinold will be the player giving the opposition fits.
With the 5-foot-10 frame and ability to play inside of a forward and the quickness and outside shot of a guard, the senior should again be a force for the Bears on the wing.
Entering her fourth season as a starter, Heinold comes off a year in which her ability as a threat inside and outside yielded her team-leading averages of 20.7 points, 10.2 rebounds and 2.9 steals, along with recording 43 assists and 42 blocks.
“Taylor’s worked hard to get to this level and she brings a dynamic that makes it hard for teams to match up against,” Immaculata head coach Andrea Drabik said. “She’s a guard but it’s always a mismatch.”
Heinold may be even more formidable of a player in becoming a better student of the game in the offseason and with the addition of her freshman sister, Jordan Heinold, as an inside threat. It took an offseason leg injury for Heinold to realize she could improve by learning some additional nuances of the game.
Heinold said while working back into playing shape, she decided to become smarter about the way she goes about playing and the decisions she makes on the court.
“This year, I’ve gotten better at playing smarter and making better choices,” said Heinold, who’s on the cusp of breaking 1,000 career points. “This year, I believe it will be more of a mental game for me and it will be more important to make the right decisions.”
Being able to play alongside Jordan will not only bring the sisters together on the same court – other than when they’re playing on their driveway at home, it will also provide the Bears with more options throughout the court.
At nearly 6-feet tall, Jordan Heinold will play more in the post as a forward and should benefit from Taylor attracting much of the attention and feeding her the ball. Taylor also noted that the two push each other to be better, whether that’s when playing one-on-one or just working out.
“It will be a lot of fun because we always play at home together and now we can finally play on the same team together.” Taylor said. “She’s more of a post player and I’m a wing, so it’s not like we’re competing. We can work together.”
The sisters got to play together when Jordan would get called up for Taylor’s travel team, but this will be the first full season the two will bring their talents to one floor.
“We should see that dynamic of a sister-sister, guard-forward feeding off each other,” Drabik said. “There will be a learning curb because Jordan is a freshman but we’re looking forward to what she can bring to the table right away.”
Between her sister coming up to the varsity and several players returning in key roles, Taylor can see Immaculata making some noise.
“We want to go to states,” said Taylor, whose team missed out on the independent schools tournament last season despite finishing 14-9. “I think we’re really strong. “This year we’ve come back strong and more adaptive with many of us getting to play with each other last season.”