Scott likes the fun and games |

Scott likes the fun and games

Dan BurkhartNicole Scott (left) breaks away down the sideline in a game against Roseville. Scott has improved her scoring and ball handling to earn more playing time.
ALL | GrassValleyArchive

A few things stand out when you meet Nicole Scott.

Her height – she’s 5 foot 10 inches – a Colgate smile, but most of all, those bright, mischievous eyes.

“She’s the kind of girl who’s game for all kinds of fun stuff,” said the junior’s best friend and Bear River girls basketball teammate, Amy Pistone. “There’s never a lack of excitement when she’s around.”

There was the time after a soccer tournament in the San Diego airport two summers ago when the duo took over the baggage claim.

“We were just picking up our luggage and somehow we ended up riding around on the (carousel) with the rest of the bags, giving high fives to all of the people,” Pistone said. “She’s always thinking of fun things like that.”

Throw in an ill-fated attempt to fill a hotel bathtub with ice or fashion various items out of procured hotel blankets and you get a peek of what life on the road with Scott is like.

“There’s never a dull moment when we’re together. We always think of something random and frivolous to do,” Scott said.

No doubt she looks to squeeze every last drop of fun in her time off the court, but when the whistle blows, she’s all business.

Scott, who has been Briana Thomas’ understudy at center the past season and a half, was strictly a rebounder and defensive specialist in 2001.

This year, the 16-year-old has added some punch to her offense.

“She’s had a little more opportunity to get more minutes this year and she’s taken advantage of it,” Bear River head coach Duwaine Ganskie said. “I thought she did an excellent job last year, but this year she’s been able to fill a couple of different roles. She only played post last year, but she really improved her outside shooting and ball handling, so we’ve been able to use her a little at wing.”

Scott’s newfound scoring touch has been put to the test by the some of the area’s top programs.

In a rematch of last year’s Sac Joaquin Section Division III finals at Arco Arena, she came off the bench to score five points in a lopsided preseason win over defending champ Center of Antelope.

She also kept Bear River afloat in its games with Nevada Union and defending section Division I champ Kennedy of Sacramento.

She finished with 8 points, including six of nine in the second quarter, in a two-point loss to the Lady Miners. Scott also scored two straight field goals in a nine-point second stanza against Kennedy.

“I’ve played with her for a long time and I’ve always known she’s had a lot of good post moves,” Pistone said. “But last year, she really started using them. (And this year), I’m not sure what it is, but it’s like something just clicked in her. It looked like a whole different Nicole to me.”

One thing which hasn’t changed, is her intensity.

“She’s been one of our most consistent players the past two seasons. When she comes in the game, you expect 100 percent,” Ganskie said. “She’s very aggressive. She’s not bashful about taking it to the hoop.”

While Scott hasn’t always been so assertive, she attributes her change to time spent on the Magnolia Intermediate School bench behind former teammate Cassie Main.

“When I was younger, I knew what it was like to be intimidated on the court. I played behind Cassie at Magnolia and she kinda scared me. But I learned to overcome that,” Scott said. “So I know if you can make the other team feel that way, it can work for you.”

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