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Home Sports Sports Allie Wank reaching career highs as fourth-year player
Allie Wank reaching career highs as fourth-year player
Written by Jeffrey D. Norwalk   
Monday, 13 January 2014 09:26

Woodmore basketball player Allie Wank has emerged as one of the Northern Buckeye Conference’s top players in her four years suiting up for Wildcats.

For sixth-year coach Kyle Clair’s 5-8, 4-2 (currently tied for second place in the NBC) Wildcat basketball program, she’s finds it prudent to tend to even the smallest of details. 

As a freshman in 2010-11, Clair had enough confidence to insert her into one of the biggest games of the year – a sectional final against Margaretta during which Wank drained her first shot of the contest — a three-pointer — and went on to score nine points on one of local high school basketball’s biggest stages.

“I became a starter mid-way through my sophomore season. It took a few games to be confident in my ability to be out there, but I’ve never settled as a starter,” Wank said. “I’ve realized my role as a leader on the court, but know the spot is not just given. I know I need to continually work hard day in and day out at practice to prove it, and my advice to upcoming players is never to settle. Once you settle, you give others the chance to catch up. The secret to success in the game of basketball is wanting it more…it’s having more heart.”

AllieWank
Woodmore basketball player Allie Wank
drives down court. (Press photo by Dean
Utendorf/WoodmorePhotos.com)

In four years, her resume reading something like three varsity letters; first-team all-NBC and first-team all-district accolades as a junior; a 14.8 point average this year (a career high) to go along with 6.3 rebounds, 1.6 assists, and 2.1 steals while shooting 64 percent from the free throw line.

All of which have been bookended by a career-high 20-point, four rebound, two assist, and two steal game against Rossford and a 16-point, seven rebound, four assist, seven steal night against Gibsonburg.

“Allie Wank is extremely coachable, and a wonderful person with great character,” offers Clair. “She is always motivated, and is one of the most optimistic people I know, always looking at the bright side of things.”

“A great example of what type of person Allie is, and what she means to our program, was made evident after a tough road loss to Rossford when she was a junior,” he says. “We had done some uncharacteristic things as a team which had contributed to the loss, and I had just arrived home, and my wife said I had a message from Allie. In the message, she said she didn’t feel like she did all she could to help the team be successful, and ended the message with the statement, ‘I will be better.’  This just reinforced to me how strongly she values her role on the team, and that players with that kind of ‘all-in’ attitude are rare.

“As a strong leader, you have to be able to manage the team well, especially amidst all the highs and lows, shifts in momentum, and pressured possessions,” continues Clair. “Allie wants the ball in her hands in these situations, and that confidence does provide stability for our team. She is definitely a calming presence on the floor. Even without the ball, off the court, in the locker room, or at practice, you see Allie talking to teammates about anything and everything basketball related or not.  She understands what unity does for a team, and she constantly reinforces that.  I’m very proud and thankful for how she continues to lead by example through her effort, and the initiative she has taken to be more of a vocal leader as a senior captain.”

Wank adds, “The fact that my team can count on me to be a leader is very special to me. It is of personal importance to me, that I back up their trust in me, and act as a reliable teammate both on and off the court.”

Wank says she wants to give back whenever she can because she got the same treatment as an underclassman.

“As a freshman, then-senior Audrey Thorbahn definitely took me under her wing,” explains Wank. “She was always the one I looked up to, when I had questions about an offense. I looked up to her because of her dedication and sportsmanship. I think one of the reasons we became close was, she always took me home from practice. I am very grateful to have had such an approachable senior guide me, and from that experience I try to do the same for the current underclassmen.

“Recently, I’ve tried to help along Lily Rothert (5-foot-5 freshman guard) who has moved up for some varsity time. From experience as a freshman I know that you need to find the confidence that you belong with the upperclassmen. Every game, Lily becomes more and more confident, and is starting to believe she can fend with the varsity.

“But, as I prepare to leave Woodmore, I hope to instill an impact of dedication and strong will on my teammates. Our team’s theme for this season has been ‘Prove It’ and I want every one of our girls to believe she can do just that, with the right mind and work ethic. I think the girls already have these things, and that’s what I love about them all.”

Coach Clair adds, “Allie is a multi-position, intelligent basketball player. She is capable of posting up or attacking off the dribble, shooting the three, or running the floor in transition.  She is an excellent defender. She has the ability to get to the foul line often due to her aggressiveness around the basket, and causes match-up difficulties for opposing teams.”

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By: Jeffrey D. Norwalk

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