By KEVIN HARRIS
NEW ALBANY —
Tanner Marcum had a junior season in 2011-12 that a lot of players can only dream about.
The New Albany guard was the Bulldogs’ leading scorer at 17 points per game along with averaging five steals, five assists and four rebounds a contest. That production helped her make the All-Hoosier Hills Conference team and earn the News and Tribune’s Area Player of the Year honor.
Despite putting up those numbers, Marcum knew she was going to have to increase her point production during her senior season after the Bulldogs graduated standout guard Kamaren Cole.
New Albany girls’ basketball coach Tammy Geron told Marcum in a preseason meeting how much she needed to increase her scoring output in 2012-13.
“Coach and I had a talk and she said I had to step up my scoring,” Marcum said.
Marcum did that — and more.
For the second season in a row, she led the Bulldogs in scoring at 22 points per game as they posted a 9-12 record. She was more impressive in HHC contests, as she tallied an unbelievable 33.4 points a clip in those games.
Marcum also showed she was a complete player by leading New Albany in assists per contest (5.4) and steals per game (3.7), and averaged 5.4 rebounds per contest. Those statistics helped her make the All-HHC team for the second straight season.
“She had one of the best seasons ever put together by a Lady Bulldog. She led us in all the statistical categories expect rebounding,” Geron said.
Those statistics helped Marcum repeat as the News and Tribune’s Sonya Wahl Memorial Area Player of the Year for the 2012-13 season.
“It’s a great honor,” Marcum said. “I worked hard this year and I’m glad it paid off.”
Marcum’s 2012-13 numbers enabled her to finish her high school career as one of the most prolific players in Bulldog girls’ history.
Marcum wound up third on New Albany’s all-time scoring list with 1,216 points. She joined the Bulldogs’ 1,000-point club on Jan. 3 in a 68-57 loss at Madison by registering a career-high 38 points.
“It was a big deal because I had no idea I was that close,” Marcum said about eclipsing the 1,000-point plateau. “It’s an honor to be up there with those names.”
Marcum finished her career second all-time in New Albany girls’ history in steals (318) and free-throw percentage (78 percent). She placed third in career assists (336) and fourth in both field-goal percentage (53 percent) and 3-point shooting percentage.
“She’s got an all-around game,” Geron said. “She brings a lot to the floor. She plays both ends of the floor and is a great defender. She became a very diverse player.”
Along with increasing her scoring load because of Cole’s graduation, Marcum had to augment her leadership role on the team by helping teach the game to her younger teammates.
Geron said it was a role that Marcum had to get used to.
“Tanner had to fill that leadership void, and she stepped into a role she was not comfortable with,” Geron said. “But she earned the trust of her teammates and made her teammates better. She got her teammates involved and taught them the game of basketball.”
Marcum hopes she taught the younger Bulldogs a few lessons in her senior year.
“I guess the main thing I wanted to teach them is to stick with it. They have a lot to learn and they need to keep at it,” Marcum said. “It was kind of a learning season.”
Marcum would like to play basketball in college, but she also is considering playing collegiate soccer. She has drawn interest from some NCAA Division II and III schools and NAIA institutions on furthering her basketball career.
A handful of smaller NCAA Division I schools have expressed interest as well.
But Hanover College — a Division III school — has been recruiting Marcum to join its women’s soccer program for the 2013 season.
“I definitely want to play [sports] in college,” Marcum said. “But I haven’t decided between soccer and basketball.”
Tanner Marcum, G, Sr., New Albany (Player of the Year)
Ashley Johnson, G, Jr., New Washington
Caroline Ricks, F, Jr., New Washington
Kriston Sarver, G, Sr., New Washington
Alex Tinsley, F, Sr., Silver Creek
Kaitlynn Henning, G, So., Charlestown
Leslie Beatty, F, Sr., Borden
Madison Kaiser, G, So., Floyd Central
Haley Vogen, F, Jr., Jeffersonville
Emily Hollis, G, Fr., Henryville
Justice Burdin, F, So., Charlestown
Emily Clayton, G, Sr., Silver Creek
Abby Ellis, F, Jr., Borden
Lexi McFarland, G, Sr., Silver Creek
Krista Roberts, F, Sr., Eastern
Courtney Amick, G, Jr., New Washington
Carson Casey, F, Jr., Borden
Meredith Endris, G, Sr., Providence
Katie Ernstberger, G, Jr., Eastern
Jasmine Harrell, G, Sr., Henryville
Brooke Hinton, G, Jr., Floyd Central
Tori Kingsley, C, Sr., Floyd Central
Shelby Kirchgessner, G, Jr., Borden
Brianne Nixon, F, So., New Albany
COACH OF THE YEAR
Terry White, New Washington