AYER -- Looking at the standard box score, there are columns for points, attempts, blocks, assists, rebounds, etc., but there are none for hustle and floor burns. While Ayer-Shirley girls basketball captain Emily Megan won't light it up night in and night out, she will no doubt make an impact in every game with her gritty style of play. Megan is the type of player who has worked very hard to get her game to the level it is now.
Lady Panthers head coach Pete Page has been a friend of Megan's family for many years and has watched his starting guard mature into a more well-rounded player. Scoring has never been the focal point of her style of play, but in-your-face defense and facilitating the offense has.
Last season Megan scored just 38 points in 18 games, which averaged out to about two points per game. Megan has knocked down four three-pointers this season, which is four more than she hit last year.
Scoring has been weaved into her game this year and has made Megan a more pivotal player in the Lady Panthers' offensive scheme. Megan has more than doubled her season total from last year, with 81 points with four games left on the schedule.
Megan has been a team captain since her junior year, and Page believes she has embraced the role very well.
"Emmy leads by example. She is not the type of leader who will do a lot of talking," said Page. "She will lead by diving on the floor and always, always hustling.
One word sums up Megan's style of play: resilient. Each and every game, Megan leaves all she has on the floor and never reflects back on games knowing she could have done better. On the defensive side of the floor, losing is not an option. Often outmatched due to her smaller stature, Megan refuses to wither and matches each driving opponent with fierce in-your-face defense.
During defensive drills at practice, Megan is often the most feared player in the gymnasium for her not-give-an-inch style.
"During drills, no one wants to match up with her," said Page. "We always goof around and say that your arm is going to be taken off and she's going to beat you with it. She gets at it on the defensive end, she'll knock you down and will be the first to pick you up, but she is not going to say sorry."
Off the court, Megan is a member of the National Honor Society and also serves as student council treasurer. Community service is a requirement in the honors program, but Megan feels that helping others is much more than a course requirement.
"Last week we did unlimited basketball," said Megan, when describing some of the community service projects she has been involved with. "We helped mentally challenged kids play basketball, and that was really rewarding. In the end you could tell it really meant a lot to them. That little thing just by showing up really meant a lot to them."
Megan plans to study the creative arts at either the Massachusetts College of Art and Design or the Savannah College of Art and Design in Georgia.