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Girls Basketball: Alyssa Jurges grows into leader role for Providence

AlyssJurges Providence | Vincent D. Johnson/For Sun-Times Media

Alyssa Jurges, of Providence | Vincent D. Johnson/For Sun-Times Media

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Updated: January 11, 2014 6:32AM



As a freshman and sophomore playing varsity basketball, Providence’s Alyssa Jurges was a youngster among the veterans.

She played consistently, listened, learned and kept working at her game, waiting for her chance at the spotlight.

Almost a month into her junior season, Jurges is stepping into the spotlight. The 5-foot-8 guard is averaging 20.6 points per game for Providence (7-2).

“I’ve been on the varsity since freshman year, and I feel like I’m still growing,” Jurges said. “I still have a whole year left, and it feels like this team can accomplish a lot. The feeling is that we’re just getting started, so we’re really excited.”

From the moment Jurges made the varsity as a freshman, Providence coach Eileen Copenhaver knew she had a player ready and willing to contribute.

“Alyssa always had a great ability just to make things happen, especially with the dribble,” Copenhaver said. “She’s really worked on her outside shot. Now, she does both equally well. It’s a real talent for basketball. There really isn’t a situation where she doesn’t understand something offensively.”

A key contributor as a freshman, Jurges took another step forward during her sophomore season, leading the team with 10.7 points per game and 41 three-pointers made.

The hard work in the offseason is paying off for the junior. She’s among the area leaders in scoring, averaging 20.6 points per game. With a junior-dominated Celtics squad that features only one senior, Marybeth Galick (5.3 ppg), the reason for excitement is obvious. These Celtics have this season and next to leave their mark.

“We’ve got two years to accomplish what we want with this team, and that’s exciting,” Jurges said. “We’re friends too, and that makes it even more fun. Being on varsity (all three years), I’ve got to step up and take that leadership role. Everyone is receptive. Everyone listens.”

For Jurges, the development hasn’t been by accident. Already a solid outside shooter, she’s worked on becoming a better shooter in traffic.

“I’ve tried to work on my shot, different moves, working with different things,” Jurges said. “The team has been great finding me, getting me the ball and me getting them the ball. It’s just nice teamwork, and we’ve got good chemistry.”

Jurges is Providence’s lone double-digit per-game scorer to date this season. Mary Fashingbauer is the Celtics’ second-leading scorer at 9.3 points per game. Copenhaver’s squad is balanced, with five players scoring more than five points a game.

“We share the basketball,” Copenhaver said. “If they focus on her, someone else steps up. Then you’ve got to go guard them.”

This season and next, the goals are high, with Jurges ready to lead a Celtics run.

“We want wins in the highs 20s, regionals, sectionals, carry on from there and work together,” Jurges said. “We’re excited for the future.”



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