Girls basketball: Nature Coast guard Jen Marshall thriving off the bench

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Mon. December 7, 2009 | Izzy Gould | Email

The plan had been to focus on softball. That's why Nature Coast senior Jen Marshall had originally opted to sit out her final season of basketball. But she kept hanging around the gymnasium, helping with practices and showing up to games.

Ultimately, Marshall initiated a talk with coach Travis Lamle about rejoining the team.

"What I said was the majority of things we do are not a democracy," Lamle said. But in this case, Lamle wanted the team to speak with a vote. Unanimously, the Sharks welcomed their former star player back onto the team.

Marshall, who signed a letter of intent in November to play softball for Presbyterian (S.C.) College,  had missed months of offseason workouts and summer games while she sharpened her softball skills. And though chemistry is an issue at times, her fitness is not. 

"I wouldn't say she's rusty," Lamle said. "She's always kept in shape. It's going to take her a little bit to get back into the swing of things. She's been in the program three years so she knows what to do. She's an extremely hard worker."

Marshall returned Nov. 23 and scored 18 points in a 64-23 win against Hudson. In six games, Marshall, who is the first guard off the bench, has averaged 15.8 points per game and is averaging 84 percent from the free thrown line.

"She's our leading scorer and rebounder, so having her back helps," Lamle said. "She doesn't get a ton of shots in the game but she does well at the free throw. A kid like that will make you better."

igould@tampabay.com

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