By PAUL HINES
Alexa Capps entered the season as one of the few experienced players on the Lady Cardinals’ roster. To start the season, she’s shouldering a bulk of the offensive load for her team.
Capps has played in five of Woodlawn’s six games after sitting out the opener. She has hit or surpassed the 30-point mark in three of those games and is averaging 27 points this year.
The high scoring helped Capps moved past a milestone recently. Against Murphysboro in the DuQuoin Tournament, she broke the school’s career scoring record. Her coach Trisha Draege previously held the record with 1,530 points.
Draege, who is in her first season coaching the Lady Cardinals, said at the beginning of the season she saw Capps start to settle into a role as a leader on the team.
“To find that balance has been kind of interesting to watch her go through, but I don’t foresee any problems with her this year finding that leadership role,” Draege said. “And I think she’ll grow in her knowledge of the game of basketball.”
The start of the year marked one of transition for Capps. In past seasons, she’s been surrounded by veteran players like Kinzie Verhines and Leah Sutton. Both athletes went on to play sports at the college level.
“With Leah and Kinzie, they just loved the game,” Capps said. “And I had played with them probably since third grade. These girls I haven’t. I played with them a little bit in grade school, and this year is my first year playing with them all. It’s really different because I just knew Kinzie and Leah, what they were going to do.”
Capps said she worked on her ball handling this summer. Sutton was a primary ball handler for the Lady Cardinals a season ago, and Capps said she knew she would absorb at least some of that role this year.
“I haven’t (played point) in years so I thought that I should freshen up on ball handling and free throws because I thought I would be on the line a lot,” Capps said.
Capps started playing the game early on. She got her first basketball hoop at the age of 4.
“I didn’t even have a concrete slate in my driveway,” Capps said. “I just had rocks so I just put it out in my backyard, and I played there.”
Her earliest organized basketball started in first grade with YMCA. She then progressed to the Jefferson County Sports Authority before grade school competition.
“I just love it. I love the game,” Capps said. “There’s nothing that I don’t like about it. I like the intensity. I like the running. I like shooting, passing, the teamwork how we all become like a little family.”
Woodlawn travels to Sesser-Valier/Waltonville for its next game on Wednesday. The school will recognize Capps’ achievement at the next Woodlawn home game on Dec. 3 against Wayne City.