A progression in Jordan Carter's scoring numbers has served the Silver Creek girls basketball team quite well the past couple of seasons.
But for Carter's senior season — before she heads off to play at Division II Fort Lewis — a drop in scoring might actually prove more effective for the Raptors. As odd as that sounds, that's actually an acceptable result as they look to improve on an 18-7 campaign.
Carter is one of the area's finest basketball players, a student of the game who just happens to be 6-foot-2. Watch her run the floor with or without the ball, or maybe take a few minutes and appreciate when she spots up outside for a 16-foot jumper — and you can see height isn't the only thing that makes her successful.
"She's got a lot of weapons that make her such a great player and we're looking for her to do a lot of things for us," said head coach Dan Kloster. "We've kind of asked her this year to develop her game even further ... and if she can find our other players out on the perimeter, if she can add that aspect of passing and making her team better when she's getting doubled up and stuff like that, she'll really be that complete player we know she can be."
She has learned to be a threat from end to end, a journey that started in second grade and will continue with the Skyhawks after high school.
As a sophomore, Carter proved to be a reliable inside presence while guard Emilie Rembert roamed around the court.
Then as a junior last year, the Raptors were identified by their post scoring. Carter, senior Teegan Knechtel and sophomore Violet Kennedy combined for almost 60 percent of the team's point production — with Carter averaging 15.8 a contest which was fifth in the Northern League.
With Kennedy a year older and ready to take on more of a starting role as another 6-2 tower, Carter is in a position to repeat her scoring prowess. But as a hoops pupil, she also is accepting of taking different roles, and that might include trying to get as many people involved in the offense as possible this year.
The Raptors had just 37 3-point makes all year, and the perimeter is where they think they can see more success this year.
"I think we're going to be our best if we work from the inside out, and just kind of have a more well-rounded game than last year," Carter said. "We have so many better shooters, and I think getting them involved is going to open things up."
"I feel like Jordan always works so well with the other post on the floor, and I think she could have just as good a year as she did last year," said senior guard Heidi Stauss. "We still have that inside game, but we've been working hard on our shooting, too."
As for Carter, she hopes to be even better in rebounding and defense — this coming from someone who already contributes six rebounds, two steals and a blocked shot every outing.
"She has gotten to be a better defender, and those are the things you can control the most," Kloster added.