Don’t call her frail
Bear River’s Meaghan Noud doesn’t look like she should be spending too much time close to all of the rough stuff near the basket.
At 6 feet tall, she’s got the height, but with her slight build, it would seem to be a bit safer out on the perimeter.
Teammates say her looks are deceiving.
“You look at her and think she’s all frail, but she’s sturdy. She’s got this tall, lanky body, but she can get around people and put up the shot. And she’s always graceful doing it,” Christina Guerland said of the junior wing.
“She looks like china, but she’s concrete,” Briana Thomas chimed in.
Noud, who has no trouble hitting from downtown – her 30 treys is tops on the team -has taken specific steps to remedy her relative lack of bulk.
“Last year coach (Duwaine Ganskie) said the number one thing I needed to do in the off-season was to lift weights. He said I wasn’t big enough for my height,” she said. “I’ve made improvements with the weights, and I feel it out on the court. I’m at least holding my own (in the blocks), if not getting better.”
Woodcreek’s Jessica Preslar can back that up.
The Lady Timberwolf post -who’s an inch taller and at least 25 pounds heavier – came into last month’s Sierra Foothill League matchup at Bear River with a healthy 15-points-a-game average.
When the final whistle blew in the Lady Bruins’ 51-30 win, Noud outscored Preslar, 15-2.
“She was definitely my toughest defensive assignment this year, and I think I did a pretty good job,” Noud said of Preslar. “My teammates expect me to score, lead by example and play great defense on the taller players.”
While great defense wins championships, it doesn’t show up in the box score.
Noud’s name does. A lot.
The two-year starter scored the team’s season-high 24 points against Oakmont of Roseville. Her 13.1 points a game leads the team and is sixth in the SFL.
She also leads the team in free throws made (64) and is second in field goals made, with 116.
Guerland, who took over the point at the start of the SFL season, keeps an eye out for No. 30.
“I know when I’m running down the court, I’m always looking for Meaghan. She’s constantly running (in transition). I can always count on her being there,” Guerland said. “She’s definitely one of our go-to people at the end of the game.”
It’s when the game is on the line when Noud is the coolest.
“When you’re on the court, you don’t have time to think about the pressure because you’re too busy listening to your coach or your teammates, and you’re trying to figure out where you’re supposed to be and when. You just don’t have time to think about what happens if you miss,” Noud said.
A lot of her attitude comes from the time she spent with former teammates Nicole Fry and Laurie Goodnight last season.
Fry, whose 73 career three-pointers is fifth all-time for the Lady Bruins, and Goodnight led by example.
“I liked the way they led with actions and not with words. They were quiet when it came to talking, but when it came to playing, they stepped up,” Noud said. “I think it’s important to show emotion sometimes, but I also think a lot of the time it’s (better) to set the example for teammates to stay calm under the worst situations.”
Noud, who’ll exchange her high tops for soccer cleats at the end of the basketball season, has already received attention from several college basketball programs.
Southern Methodist University, Gonzaga and the California Polytechnic University-San Luis Obispo are among a few teams vying for Noud’s services
“My first priority for picking a college is for education, because that’s what going to college is all about, right? I’ve gotten a couple letters, and I’ll respond and see what happens,” she said. “Whatever comes of it is fine, as long as I get into a college (for my education).”
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