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Cayla McMorris Blog: The responsibility of a leader

Park Center (MN) star Cayla McMorris checks in with a reflection on her role as a leader after a pair of games that went in opposite directions for her and her team.

Photo by Mike Simmonet.

Feb 18th: PC vs Champlin

Champlin Park is a great team and one of our big rivals especially for me because my best friend Alexis Alexander plays for them. I played with her during AAU and it is always a battle playing against her. My team and I were really pumped for this game, we came out very strong and went on a 15-0 run to start the game. Everything was clicking for us this game.

Our chemistry was great, we executed well, hit shots and locked down defensively. We knew we had to come out strong because Champlin is one of the better teams in the conference. We needed to beat them in order to hold on to the top spot in the conference.

Feb 22nd: PC vs Andover

This game was the complete opposite of how we played against Champlin Park. It was like we were a totally different team, we didn’t execute, we couldn’t make shots and our defense could’ve been a lot better. We scored a total of 38 points compared to 77 points the last time we played them.

We’re the top scoring team in the conference, averaging over 69 points a game, and we scored half of that. Clearly we were the better team we just didn’t play like it. I don’t know if it was because we had the day off due to a snow storm which kind of threw us off - we didn’t’ have school Friday and we didn’t play that day - or because this was a rescheduled game that we had to make-up because of all the bad weather we’ve been having.

Also, before this game we were at the top of the conference and that kind of got to us so we underestimated Andover. We just weren’t mentally in the game and that showed. We were frustrated the whole game with ourselves, each other and our offense and we allowed Andover to take advantage of that. It started with me, who is supposed to be the team leader and set the tone - I didn’t do that.

I know being an elite athlete I have to take responsibility that I’m part of the reason we lost the game. The girls on my team look up to me to set the tempo and then they will follow that. Well how can they do that when their leader isn’t doing her job? I know I have to be a leader of my team and do what I need to do in order to win these last few conference games.

I absolutely hate losing and especially to teams we know we shouldn’t lose to, but I know my team will bounce back. I know we all know that we can’t go into any more games thinking that our talent is just going to win the game.

We actually need to come out strong and not let up and take every opponent serious if we want to get to where we want to be. We have Osseo and Maple Grove next, two very good teams that want to beat us badly.