Title run highlight for MinorPublished 12:01am Friday, April 5, 2013
WESSON — It was both a first and a dream come true for Copiah-Lincoln Community College guard Ashley Minor.
Minor, a member of the Lady Wolves’ Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges state championship team, had wanted her entire life to play for a state title. The Natchez High School alumna said her team’s 64-46 win over Northeast Mississippi Community College in the title game Feb. 28 was one of the happiest moments in her life.
“It was the first time I ever played in a state championship game,” Minor said. “It’s a moment I’ve been waiting for since I started playing basketball. I knew we had to work hard to win, and Coach (Gwyn Young) got us to play to the best of our abilities, and we were able to come out with a win.”
Minor credited the team’s sophomores, which includes former NHS teammate Ricarla Shotwell, as being excellent leaders to freshmen like Minor this season.
“They helped us stay focused and helped us play college ball,” Minor said. “Anytime we had questions, they’d help us, and we stuck together as one family.”
A lot of credit also goes to Young, who now has seven state titles to his name, Minor said. Young’s personality helped the team keep its cool when the going got tough, she said.
“He’s so calm, even when things are going wrong,” Minor said. “It motivates me, because I know he’s not giving up and knows what we’re capable of doing.”
Adjusting to junior college basketball took time, Minor said, and she began to notice a difference in her game when the spring semester began.
“It’s a lot different from high school because we ran multiple plays,” Minor said. “In high school, it’s just run up and shoot. Coach Young is a great coach, because he really knows the game and knows what plays we need to run at (certain points).”
When Minor signed with Co-Lin out of high school, Young said developing her outside game was a goal of his. After one season of junior college ball, Minor said that aspect of her game has improved.
“I’m a better shooter than I was in high school,” Minor said. “He did exactly what he said he would. We worked on shots a lot in practice, and it really helped.”
Following in the footsteps of Shotwell and former NHS standout Keosha Bradley was a big reason she chose Co-Lin, Minor said. Though Bradley graduated the semester before Minor got to Wesson, Minor said she’s always considered Bradley an inspiration.
“Before I came here, (Bradley) was one of the ones telling me that I needed to come here,” Minor said. “After talking to Coach Young and considering all of his accomplishments, I had no choice but to come. It was also good to play with one of my high school teammates again in Ricarla.”
Much like Bradley did for her, Minor said she’s trying to convince NHS point guard Keyana Miller to join the Lady Wolves.
“I told her it was the place to be, and it would be nice if she comes and I get to play with another (former) teammate,” Minor said.
Minor’s goals for next season are to continue working on her game and to be a leader on the team, she said. She is the daughter of Auguree Minor and the late Leonard Hooker.