By Ryan Kaczmarski
Fairview High School senior Katie Smith went into Saturday’s game against Oberlin needing 13 points to get to the 1,000 mark. After a slow start, she started draining shots and eclipsed the four-figure mark with two minutes remaining before halftime, as the Lady Warriors cruised to an easy 57-17 win.
“This feels really great, but I could not have done it without my teammates,” Smith explained. “The coaches are great (too). We get better and better each year.
“In my freshman year, we had a great senior on the team, and since then, we have just progressed every year. We work really hard in the offseason, going to camps and having open gym every other day. We put the work in and we’ve gotten better.”
Fairview head coach Bill Harvey has seen Smith grow as a player and as a person since her freshman season.
“Her work ethic is tremendous and it has rubbed off on everyone on the team,” Harvey said. “When I took over the program four years ago, the likes of her – I had one senior, and a few other sophomores – they all bought in to what we were trying to do from day one.
“We try to do things the right way here, and we’ve been able to turn the ship around and get it going in the right direction. We’ve started to build a really nice program here, and (Smith) has been the backbone pieces.”
Harvey knew he had a great asset in Smith early in her high school career.
“Probably in her sophomore year, I could tell that she was going to be something special,” he said. “She really has stepped up with her leadership, both offensively and defensively.”
Smith is only the third person in Fairview High School history to get to 1,000 points, which puts her into the realm of the greatest athletes to compete for the Warriors.
“It’s really special to be considered as among the best,” she said. “To be able to come back here (after graduating) and see my accomplishments here at the school will be great.”
“That is important to me, but if it comes, it comes, if it doesn’t, it doesn’t,” Smith said.
After some early season injuries on the team, the Warriors have won six games in a row and sit at 7-3 (5-1 in the Patriot Athletic Conference).
“We had really high hopes for this team coming into the season,” Harvey explained. “We set the bar really high last year, but we had to overcome some injuries – playing some games without four of our starters – and now we have our point guard Megan Coyne back and we put a couple games under our belts and now we are getting back to the point we were last year, if not a little bit better.”
Smith led all scoring in Saturday’s game with 17 points, followed by teammates Kaprina Hawkinson, with 11, and Rachel Malloy, with 7.
Fairview came one game shy of the program’s first-ever conference championship last year, and even with the school’s first No. 1 playoff seed, Smith still has a bitter taste in her mouth from the 2012-2013 campaign.
“We look back to that last game (against Clearview) a lot, and have regrets, but this year a conference championship is our main goal,” she said. “We’re going to be a really good postseason team. We play really good together in some rough situations. We just stay calm and work together.”