Shipley benefiting from Alexander's leadership

Shipley's Sox Alexander takes pride in being a complete player and a leader for the Gators.
Shipley's Sox Alexander takes pride in being a complete player and a leader for the Gators. (LOU RABITO / Staff)
Posted: January 28, 2014

After every Shipley girls' basketball game last season, Sox Alexander talked to teammate Nia Holland.

Holland was nervous, Alexander remembers, about the prospect of taking over as point guard of the Gators (14-3) when Alexander graduates.

Alexander recalls the apprehension in Holland's voice and how she would dissuade Holland's fears mostly by saying that it didn't matter what Holland, then a sophomore, wanted - she eventually was going to have to play the point.

So Alexander took Holland under her wing, fulfilling the leadership role coach Sean Costello always wanted for her.

It's a year later, and Alexander, Holland, and the rest of the Gators are reaping the benefits.

"I'm really proud of her," Alexander, a senior, said of Holland. "She has the confidence. She is confident in every move she makes."

"I'm so glad this year she realizes it," the St. John's signee added. "She goes for it every single game."

This mentor role that Alexander, a senior, has taken on is one of many hats she has had to wear for the Gators since the seventh grade, but it is one she has grown into.

Alexander and Costello acknowledge that the 5-foot-6 Northeast Philadelphia native was thrust into the role of leading scorer early in her career.

As Alexander put it, "If I didn't score, then we wouldn't win."

"Back then, man, the pressure was on," Alexander said. "I've always considered myself a pass-first point guard, so it was especially hard for me."

While she might have wished to be eased into the offense as many younger players are, it didn't show in her play, as Alexander thrived.

So much so that she is only 14 points from becoming Shipley's all-time leading scorer.

"It is weird," Alexander said. "I don't even know where the points came from."

This season, Shipley's points are coming from all throughout the lineup, as Costello says that balance has been the real key to his squad's success.

Senior Colleen Walsh is dangerous from the outside, junior Martine Fortune is a force under the basket, and sophomore Courtney Redcross is starting to find her stride.

And that is the way Alexander prefers it. She'd rather dish the ball to her teammates.

"I think it is great that I get to leave my mark at Shipley," Alexander said of the scoring record, before quickly adding: "I wish there was a leading assists category. I would love to be in that."

Girls' Basketball Top 10


Records are through Saturday.

Previous rankings in parentheses.

Rk. Team Rec.

1. Neum.-Goretti (1) 16-0

2. Arch. Wood (2) 13-1

3. C.B. West (3) 14-3

4. Mt. St. Joseph (4) 15-2

5. Spring-Ford (5) 14-4

6. Bonner-Prend. (7) 13-4

7. Shipley (8) 14-3

8. North Penn (9) 14-2

9. Card. O'Hara (6) 10-4

10. W.C. Rustin (10) 12-3

Under consideration (listed alphabetically): C.B. South (14-3), Penn Charter (15-2), Souderton (12-5).

- Kate Harman


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