Ellie Taylor has been a point guard for as long as she can remember.
She’s run the offense.
She’s had the ball in her hands.
She’s run the break.
She’s controlled everything.
This year, though, not so much.
The Elizabethtown senior was shifted from being the point guard to the wing as junior Kayra Freeman stepped into running the offense.
“I felt like I didn’t have control sometimes and I guess that it bugged me a little bit because I’m not used to it,” Taylor said. “Now, I’m fine with it.”
But that didn’t happen overnight.
“Playing the 2 at first, I kind of felt lost,” she admitted. “I always felt like I was doing something wrong. I felt like sometimes I would just stand and watch. Now, I’ve learned to drive, or to take the shot or make the extra pass. I’ve gotten a lot more used to it over these past games.”
That was rather evident in Saturday’s 63-48 victory over Henderson County.
“Ellie played great,” Coach Donnie Swiney said.
Taylor scored an efficient 19 points, going 3-for-5 from the floor — hitting both her 3s — and netting 11-of-14 from the free throw line. She also grabbed five rebounds and handed out four assists.
“She’s starting to get more comfortable shooting the basketball,” Swiney said after the game. “When she’s under control, pushing the basketball when she sees it and backing it up when she doesn’t, she does some really good things for us.”
Taylor, who is averaging 9.5 points, 3.3 assists and 1.6 steals per game, has signed to play ball next year at Northern Kentucky.
“It took her a while to get used to it and she’s starting to understand that’s probably where she’s gonna be next year,” Swiney said. “Other people can create for her now. When she catches it already going, she’s that much better. She sees people so well off the drive.
“She’s finding people open when they’re open and she’s starting to make shots and all of that is going to be big for us down the stretch.”
Taylor leads the 14-2, No. 4-ranked Lady Panthers with 53 assists, is tied for second with 28 steals and third with 11 blocks.
“At first, when I started playing there I wasn’t really sure about it, I was just kind of going through the motions with it because I really didn’t know what to do,” she said. “But now, I don’t really think about it. I just do it. It’s a lot better now, knowing what to do and not feeling lost anymore.
“Me not being the point guard has helped me see who’s open. It helps me see in advance and I think that helps me a lot. I have more options. It’s changed a lot for the better.”
What’s also gotten better for Taylor is her free throw shooting.
She was 100-for-152 a year ago (65.8 percent). This season Taylor is 59-for-75 (78.7 percent) and that is good for 44th in the state.
“For me, usually when I go to the free throw line, I’m out of breath,” she said. “I try to make sure I get my breath and I calm down, try to keep the crowd out of my head and just go up and shoot it. I repeat it all the time in practice. We shoot free throws all the time in practice. When I shoot with my dad, we always do free throws.
“I went too fast before. I would just dribble, shoot it. My dad told me I needed to know what I was gonna do, so being able to slow down and calm down at the free throw line has been really good.”