CEDARVILLE — It’s all about basketball for Ciara Horney.
Even during another sports season, roundball remains in the mind of the Cedarville junior.
“I just have a love for the game,” Horney said. “I just kind of fell in love with basketball at an early age. The older girls, growing up watching them. They were good too. I always wanted to be them and get to that level.”
First year Coach Molly Cary noticed that right away.
“In the fall when we were doing stuff with the girls, she’d be in (the gym) and she would have a basketball and she would be shooting waiting for volleyball,” Cary said. “It seems like the gym is a really comfortable place for her.”
Even when she’s not supposed to be playing hoops, Horney finds a way. Near the end of Cedarville’s volleyball season, Horney had a nagging injury. She took a little time off but wanted to be in the gym.
“She was like ‘OK, coach when can I play, when can I play,’ ” Cary said, adding that they would give her a few minutes and then have her rest.
“Then I’d look up and she had gotten into something and I’d be like, ‘Hey, get out. You’re not part of the drill,’ ” Cary said.
That’s typical Horney. She’ll be on the court no matter what.
“It didn’t keep me from playing,” Horney admitted.
That’s a good thing for the Indians, who have been sparked by Horney’s play this season. She’s averaging a team-leading 12.5 points per game and is second with 6.3 rebounds per game for Cedarville, 5-3 overall. Last season, her first as a varsity regular, Horney averaged 8.7 points and 4.6 rebounds for the Indians, who finished 12-13 overall.
“It was like my first time playing full-time varsity,” Horney said. “So I wasn’t quite used to the playing level. Now that I’ve had a year to play and all that, it’s definitely helped me to get better at playing at the varsity level.”
Horney is also averaging 2.9 steals per game, which is one stat that sticks out for Cary.
“We’ve been pressing more than they have in the past,” Cary said. “She’s able to read passing lanes and make good plays on balls. A lot of those steals are coming during the pressing. Because she plays so much basketball, reading those passing lanes, she’s good at it.”
A solid AAU season also made a difference for Horney.
“Just getting to play with that higher, more intensity,” she said. “Everybody’s pretty good during AAU. It’s helped me learn how to work more with other people and be a better teammate.”
Horney has definitely become a leader on the court, which has helped Cary make a transition from coaching seventh grade to high school.
“You can tell with how she interacts with her teammates, she brings a lot of energy, just a lot of joy,” Cary said. “You can tell she’s having fun.”
Horney has also become an assistant coach of sorts for Cary, who wasn’t as familiar with some of the Ohio Heritage Conference teams.
“She knows a player on each of the teams (we) play,” Cary said. “She can give us a scouting report. She really is a student of the game, of the conference, of the teams we are going to play.”
Said Horney, “(Basketball) is just a different environment.”
Actually, no matter what the environment is, it’s always about basketball for Horney.
Contact Scott Halasz at 937-502-4507.