Lady Cavalier signs to play at next level
There’s no overstating how much and how many different roles Brianna Taylor has done for Southern Lee basketball through the past four years. In fact, even as Taylor was officially signing a scholarship offer to attend and play basketball at Wake Technical Community College in Southern Lee’s library Friday afternoon, Lady Cavalier head coach Nate Woodruff said she’ll have a positive influence on his team for seasons to come.
“That’s the definition of a great basketball player, a player who makes everyone on their team better,” Woodruff said.
“Brianna had played basically every role on the team at some point in career,” Woodruff said.
In her four-year varsity career, Taylor went from reserve to starter. In her junior season, she was a key player as the Lady Cavaliers won their first-ever Cape Fear Valley championship and made their deepest state tournament run in program history.
This season though, Taylor was one of a few returning Lady Cavs on a team which started 0-5 before finishing 13-13, 9-3 and second-place in the CFVC, and with a state tournament appearance again.
“So this year, she was our leader. She was our general,” Woodruff said.
“She understood all those roles, and the mindset and the work it takes to play each one. She helped the younger girls learn and improve through the season,” he said. “We’ll be better next year because of her impact with the younger girls this year.”
As a darting guard, Taylor was a defensive standout for the Lady Cavs throughout her career. As a senior though, “she was everything for us,” Woodruff said.
“She was our best ballhandler, our best scorer, defender, our MVP,” he said.
Taylor led the Lady Cavaliers in points, rebounds, assists and steals.
“More than that though, was how she carried herself,” Woodruff said. “When we had lost as much as we had from last year, I mean, she stepped in beautifully and we knew she would. That’s her character.”
A large gathering of family, teammates, lots of other Cavalier friends and fellow athletes, coaches and teachers, along with NFL Draft hopeful and Cavalier alum Aaron Mellette, were on hand for Taylor’s signing.
“I thank my parents for always believing in me and making me the best I can be,” Taylor said while being put on the spot for a speech before finalizing the paperwork.
“And I’ll miss my teammates,” she said, and with a pause and a laugh, “I didn’t know I’d get emotional.”
After the official statements were done, Taylor said playing collegiately is an exciting step, as well as a challenge she’ll have to step up to.
“Any basketball player would love the opportunity at the next level. To actually have it, I can’t explain how excited I am,” she said.
“I know with a new team, I’m going to have to prove myself, to fight for my spot and work to let the coaches know I’m here to stay,” said Taylor.
For everything Taylor’s done for Lady Cavalier basketball, there’s still one more major accomplishment she’s giving the team as she graduates.
“It’s just good to see a kid who’s a great example,” Woodruff said, “one the younger kids can follow, because now it’s paid off (for Taylor) with a college education.”