Kaia Woods Drops 25 as Lady Tornadoes Defeat Lady Fliers 69-50
Many a skilled basketball player has dribbled on the Nancy E. Hanger hardwood floor. Some like Rachel Smetzler, Heather Kwiatkowski , Amanda Cahill, Heidi Marshall and others brought ‘oohs’ and ‘ahhs’ to the hometown faithful. But there also have been quite a few girls from opposing schools who have demonstrated exceptional basketball skills. To the disappointment of Coach Lozier’s ladies, they had to witness the ‘Kaia Woods Show’. And what a performance she laid on the Blue and Gold.
Arguably the smallest player in the Lake Division game, the versatile sophomore razzled and dazzled, befuddling the Lady Fliers’ attempts to defend her. The league’s leading turnover creator, stole the ball and darted deftly with either hand. Several times she threw up reverse layups which to the amateur fan might look like showing off. The personable point guard was only displaying what she has practiced hundreds of times since beginning her basketball skills’ development at age eight. Like all elite athletes at any level, Kaia made the tough game more fun than work, easy rather than challenging. Tonight, Kaia Woods showed onlookers, she ‘could do about anything’.with a ball except dunk.
With such a player, it is hard to believe Columbian is just 6-5 and 3-2 in the Lake. They have great post players led by Abby Dryfuse who scored 17 and three point shooters like Hailey Cooperstown now leads the league with 34 out of 84 or nearly 40%. Columbian was just really ready to play from the getgo and the home team paid and paid dearly.
It does not take long for the word to get around the league. With our very very young backcourt, opponents are going for the Lady Flier throats right from the start. With the league’s thief, Kaia in the middle of a full court diamond and one press, the Tornadoes took a page from Bellevue’s attack plan. Suffocate our young e xperience starved guards with relentless pressure and force turnover after turnover. Literally, our dazed young handlers have been going through a torture chamber the past two games. And it will not change until their growth through bitter adversity finally shows..
For the Fliers, fans had to love watching senior Siera Hisey hit five three pointers to lead the team with 15 points off the bench. The always humble and pleasant daughter of Dave and Donna torched the twine from her favorite place, the corners. At one point in the early fourth, her trey brought the girls to within 13 at 53-40. But, Columbian proved just too strong for our girls despite our effort.
But for girls who want to be a basketball player, one needs to know about Kaia. Speaking afterward with her dad and her in the hallway, I found out how hard she has worked to make a really tough game look incredibly easy. Practice, Practice, commitment, sacrifice. Her words reminded me of watching Rachel Smetzler and her now retired father Jerry spend countless hours together….to make Rachel make the game look easy, too. Or Heidi Marshall and her dad, Marc.
Great players have talent, yes. But great players like Columbian’s little star, Kaia Woods, have commitment and willingness to work, work, and work. Now, as she passes through her high school years, Kaia is having a blast showing her peers what even a sophomore can do at the varsity level….if you put in the TIME.
The 5-7 Fliers now travel to Perkins for a matinee matchup Saturday afternoon.