Jordyn Taylor had to think long and hard about this one.
Lake’s All-Northern Buckeye Conference junior point guard was asked whether she would rather get an assist on a game-winning bucket or make the game-winning basket herself.
“That’s a tough one,” she said. “As a point guard, you want the ball in your hands ... I would probably take the shot. At least if I don’t make it, it’s on me. We had a close game against Fostoria St. Wendelin and I actually scored the winning (layup). I took that shot. I didn’t hesitate.”
That, Lake coach Jim Gracyk said, is what he’s been preaching to Taylor for most of this season: don’t hesitate to take more shots. In fact, Taylor says she hears the same thing from teammates, friends and family members.
“She won’t shoot the ball enough,” Gracyk said. “I’ve been on her the last month about that. She’s got to take more shot attempts. It’s not like not they’re not there. She’s passing them up. Her definition of a point guard is someone who runs the offense and gets the ball to everybody. Sometimes point guards are required to score, too. There’s no doubt, she’s our best player. Jordyn is capable of averaging 20 points a game, and for us to achieve what we’re capable of achieving, she’s got to score points every night out.”
Taylor is averaging 11.1 points and 4.4 assists a game for the Flyers (6-6, 3-3 NBC), who travel to Port Clinton on Monday. A first-team all-conference and all-district selection last season, she is shooting 41 percent (45-of-109) from the field. That’s an average of 9.1 shots a game, but she has taken seven or fewer shots on five different occasions.
“Everybody gets on me for not shooting,” Taylor said. “I don’t know why I don’t; I’m working on it. My teammates are like, ‘Jordyn, you have to shoot’ and my friends are like, ‘Just shoot!’ I know I have to do it and I don’t like letting people down. It’s frustrating. I just like making everyone happy.”
Last Friday, in a 60-44 win over Otsego, Taylor scored 14 points on 6-of-12 shooting and added a season-high 10 assists, seven steals and five rebounds. Last season she had a school-record 13 assists against Fostoria and 11 steals in the sectional tournament against Northwood.
“She passed up a half dozen shots against Otsego,” Gracyk said. “Her assist-to-turnover ratio (53 assists, 22 turnovers) is great. I counted 14 shots in the Central Catholic game where she didn’t do what was called for to be done.”
That was not meant to be a criticism by Gracyk, just a plea for his point guard to look toward the rim more often instead of passing the ball.
“I’m not sure Jordyn likes all the attention,” Gracyk said. “She is the hardest worker I’ve got. She does everything full speed. I have absolutely no complaints there. She is absolutely a respectful, great kid. I just want her to shoot more.”
Taylor, an All-NBC and all-district soccer player last fall, admitted that she doesn’t take shots because she thinks she’s a bad shooter. She merely wants to make sure her teammates stay involved in the offense.
“I attack, and then I see an open teammate,” she said. “My first thought is to pass to them instead of shooting. I guess I have to work on that. I need to become a better leader and I might need to do something more to make our team better. We all just want to win. If someone would score 25 points and we win, we’d all be happy. We’re a good team, not just individuals.”