Applying herself at every position


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From point guard to center, Nicole Taylor has played every position for Quantico High School in her senior season. That fact amazes even her, as she watches the school’s junior varsity girls team warm up for its game.

“I’m only 5-foot-8,” she said, while looking toward the basketball court. “The JV’s are taller than me.”

Yet coach Dayton McAloon has looked for any excuse to get Taylor in position to boost the team. She leads the Warriors with 15.1 points per game and is second in rebounding (9.6) and assists (3.2). Senior center Nikki Davis averages 11.7 rebounds, but when she’s not in the game Taylor often moves into the low post.

“Nicole plays all the positions because she’s a decision-maker,” McAloon said. “In my estimation, she’s the player of the year in our league. Other coaches might take one of their players, but I’m sure any of them would love to have Nicole on their team because she’s so multifacteted.”

Quantico (8-6 overall, 6-5 in the Delaney Athletic Conference) is having its best season in McAloon’s three years at the school.

“It’s an exciting year for us because it’s really rare to have six seniors on one team on a military base,” said Davis, in her third year with the Warriors. “Nicole’s my best friend, she’s a great basketball player and she’s a great person all-around.”

After four games this season, Taylor was averaging 19.3 points per game but the team was 0-4.

“She doesn’t want to be the one to always take the shot,” McAloon said. “Because of deferring to her teammates — to a fault at times — her scoring average has gone down.”

Nicole’s father, Nathan Taylor, is a gunnery sergeant in the Marines. He was stationed at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina for three years before the family moved to Quantico prior to Nicole’s ninth-grade year.

Taylor has been on the varsity basketball team for each of her four years at Quantico. She also has played volleyball for three years and soccer for one. Staying at one high school is a blessing that doesn’t always come to clidren in military families.

“I like that I had the chance to grow, to see different people and get myself established here,” she said.

Though small forward is her favorite position, just ahead of shooting guard, she said, “It’s too bad I’m too short to play there in college.”

She has applied to Cornell, Georgetown, North Carolina, Virginia Tech, Clemson and American. In addition to hoping to walk on in basketball, she may study psychology at whichever schools she chooses.

“I’ve been so busy filling out the applications and applying for scholarships,” Taylor said. “It seems like you need a scholarship just to apply to college.”

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