The Pony Express

Pratt, Scalia carry girls basketball team

Hunter Hippel, Online Editor-in-Chief

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Alternative Copy Story by Jessie Brown

As she dribbles the ball up the court, junior Sara Scalia scans the defense.  She’s looking at the match ups and the positioning of her teammates.  Then she checks her own.

What she does next is unpredictable.

Scalia could dump the ball off to her teammate on the wing and cut towards the middle of the paint, leaving her teammate with the ball at the top of the key.  This enacts the Ponies offensive scheme, which is full of cuts toward the paint and screens in the corner, leaving someone open back up at the top of the key.  Usually it’s Scalia, or freshman Alexis Pratt, who are both extremely skilled at dribbling and getting to the rim.  Pratt is a freshman guard who, despite being listed at only 5’3, is a hassle to deal with.  She’s crafty and tenacious, and can get to the rim against anyone.

Above is a GIF of the girls’ offense. The yellow dot represents Scalia, who brings the ball up. It is from that spot or before that she can sometimes pull up from three. Otherwise, this array of movement takes place, hoping to confuse the opposing defense and leave a girl open. The blue dot, Pratt, usually, receives the ball at the top again. It is her who takes the next step, driving to the rim or kicking out to a teammates on the wing.

“It’s just how I am,” she said on her tenacious character.  “I just try to bring more energy on the floor and try to get the girls more into the game,” Pratt said.

Back on the court, Scalia could, instead of running the offense, stop her movement just past half-court and pull-up from three at an ungodly distance.  Her range is so deep that it stuns anyone in the crowd.  Fans scoff went the shot is taken, and cheer when it goes in.

“Wherever I think I can make, I shoot it,” Scalia said.

This type of offense drives the Ponies.  At 12-8 on the season with four wins in their last five games, they’re on a roll.  A win at far-away Princeton kicked off the winning streak, where Scalia and Pratt 20 and 24 points, respectively.  Sophomore Grace Cote was 5-8 from the field that night.  Next was a home match versus Forest Lake.  The Ponies started slow, and the first half was filled with little mistakes.  After halftime though, Scalia got hot and poured in 39 points.  The game also featured Pratt scoring her 1,000th point of her young career.

It hasn’t been sail smoothing all season though.  Before the four game win streak, the Ponies hung around .500 for most of the year.  The team picked up three win streaks and three game losing streaks in their first 13 games.

“We were trying to work out communication on defense and trying to be more of a team,” Pratt said.  “Just trying to know each other skills-wise.”

Wherever I think I can make, I shoot it.”

— Sara Scalia

But with time and practice, things improved.

“As the season went on, we just started playing better as a team and our other players other than Alexis and I stepped up more,” Scalia said.

When the Ponies lose, defense can be the reason why; the team’s average margin of defeat this season is 9.9 points.  While the offense is a machine, the defense can tail off late in games.  The loss of sophomore Maddie Whittington, who tore her ACL this summer and missed the fall volleyball season as well, was a loss.  At 6’4, Whittington was an anchor for the Ponies defense.  Her rim protection solidified them down low, and her presence on the offensive end would have made a deadly offense even scarier.

“Our post defense is for sure something we need to work on,” Scalia said, acknowledging that Whittington’s loss made an impact, and that, even with recent success, the team is still practicing it.

For this year’s team, it’s evident that all it took was a little time.

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About the Writer
Hunter Hippel, Online Editor in Chief

Hunter Hippel is a senior and an Online Editor-in-Chief.  He also owns and operates his own sports blog,  He has a great...


8 Responses to “Pratt, Scalia carry girls basketball team”

  1. Alyssa Bump on March 3rd, 2018 8:49 pm

    This article caught my attention because of the ALT copy. It looks really good with the faded picture in the back. It does make the words a little hard to read, but other than that it looks great!

  2. Fotini Kloos on March 8th, 2018 12:03 am

    I agree with Alyssa, I think the picture could have been more focused but other than that The article is great and very intersting to read! Hunter goes into a lot of detail with the girls basketball team. It’s very informative and well done. I also love how it has the games times and dates in the alt copy. Another very informative way to capture readers!

  3. Andrew Phan on March 8th, 2018 9:29 am

    The alternative story was well made with the background being a picture of a basketball game and was’t the typical solid black or red. The main text box is a little hard to read with the coaches being black and the text red. The main gives good text as if you were at the game itself.

  4. Jesse Brown on March 8th, 2018 10:29 am

    After reading about the traditional story to do with this article I was very intrigued about the team and impressed hearing about how Scalia and Pratt are such a big component for the team. The article provided statistics and information about the team, and Scalia and Pratt, which helped me understand more about them. One thing that really grabbed my attention was the GIF that was created. It was a good representation of the offense that the team runs. Explaining the GIF helped me understand what was going on. Overally I thought that this traditional story was very well written and constructed and provided me with great information.

  5. Mackenzie Motz on March 10th, 2018 3:39 pm

    The traditional story along with the alt copy went really well together. I think the traditional copy was really strong because of all of the facts and statistics that backed up the claim that pratt and scalia are leading the team. One thing about this article that really grabbed my attention and interest was the GIF that showed the girls offense. It was really clear and simple which was really nice.

  6. Will Gleaosn on March 11th, 2018 10:54 pm

    Great story and great Alt Copy! The alt copy is the thing that really drew my interest to read the story. The faded picture makes a great background to the alt copy, and the text is broken up so it doesn’t seem like a hassle to read. Great use and balance of quotes, facts, and statistics in the main story, it made it easy as well as interesting to read!

  7. Wyatt Wasko on March 12th, 2018 3:15 pm

    The alt copy is what really grabbed my attention with this story. The overall composition of the story is very well done and this is what makes it so pleasing to see. The mix of quotes and facts is very well done!

  8. Hailey Willius on March 12th, 2018 9:55 pm

    Article was well written, however I got lost in some of the paragraphs trying to figure what exactly Hunter was saying. The Alternative copy story, although a but difficult to read, was a huge draw for this story. Yet again the lead of this story was the high light as it completely drew the readers attention and sucked them into the story.

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Pratt, Scalia carry girls basketball team