CANTON - If Canton girls basketball coach Michael Meyers ever gets frustrated because his team cant understand instructions, he has at least one player on his team who can relate.
Senior point guard Emma Rexford is a coach herself, teaching kids how to figure skate in her free time.
I understand how frustrating it is when its hard for someone to grasp something, Rexford said. Ive been an actual coach just this year, but Ive volunteered since the eighth grade. I love little kids, and they are so cute and they look up to you, and it makes me feel good at the end of the day to know you are someones role model.
Just as the kids bring a smile to her face, Rexfords leadership and ability on a basketball court makes Meyers smile.
Shes helped lead the Golden Bears to a 13-1 record this season, including a 9-1 mark and a two-game lead in Northern Athletic Conference Central Division play.
Before scoring 21 points in a win over Tupper Lake on Monday, Rexford ranked fifth in Section 10 girls basketball in scoring at 17.7 points per game. She also averages 5.5 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 2.6 steals.
Shes such a hard worker, Meyers said. I think she leads through example. As much as she may not think it, or believe it, almost everyone here looks up to her. Its been a pleasure to have her on the team the last four years.
Rexford can disable opposing teams in many ways. Shes scored as many as 39 points in a game this year, but as few as eight. In both cases Canton won the game.
Shes our absolute leader, Meyers said. I told her the other night that just because she doesnt lead the team in scoring (in a game), doesnt mean shes not the best player on the floor. Everyones defense is going to be designed to stop Emma. She can play wherever. Shes had to guard people inside and done a nice job. She takes all the challenges and does her best.
Rexford set an early tone for what to expect when she scored 32 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in Cantons second game of the season. Shes gone over 30 three times this season but has noticed, especially the second time facing teams, that shes seeing more defensive attention.
(Opponents) have been doing box-and-ones on me, Rexford said. I try to bring the ball upcourt more. If I cant score, other people are scoring. Its a pretty even scoring team I think.
Many of the girls on Cantons basketball team have already played in the state playoffs in soccer and softball, which should aid the squad as the bigger basketball games approach.
Having that winning attitude is starting to trickle through to basketball, Meyers said. It helps if you know how to win ballgames and how to win tight games. It helps no matter what sport you are playing.
Said Rexford, We know how much pressure (state playoffs) are. Were used to it. Were not as pressured and more calm and collected.
Rexford also is not afraid of challenges. Last spring she replaced the best pitcher in Canton softball history, Kacie Wentworth, and never gave it much of a thought.
I dont like to compare myself to others, Rexford said. I didnt think people would compare me, because Kacie and I are completely different. I figured people would think, OK, shes pretty good. Kacie is obviously better, but shes OK.
Basketball season is already nearing its conclusion and then there will only be one more sport before Rexford moves on from Canton.
She said shes looking at Onondaga Community College, North Country Community College, St. Lawrence University and SUNY Canton.
I would like to go to a two-year (college) over a four-year, Rexford said. Im not positive what I want to do with my life. I dont want to spend so much money.
One thing Rexford is positive of is that she wants to continue coaching figure skaters while in college. Shes competed in the past in the event at the Winter Empire State Games.
Its really good pay, Rexford said. During college Id like to find a club I could coach at, instead of having to get a job on campus.