Anna Motes sinks a lot of baskets for the Augusta Christian girls basketball team.
Prior to the Christmas break, the 16-year-old sophomore was the Lady Lions’ second-leading scorer, averaging 10 points per game. More impressively, she led the team in free throws, hitting 95 percent of her shots.
But it is with her defensive skills that Motes said she best contributes to her team.
“You can not shoot well one night but you can always keep your feet moving on defense,” she said.
Motes leads Augusta Christian in steals at 3.2 per game and also averages 3.7 rebounds per game.
Still, Motes said she is working hard to improve her shooting. During the summer, she took 10,000 practice shots to get better for the season.
“Any of the girls will tell you that she is by far the hardest worker on the team,” Augusta Christian girls head basketball coach Nick Isaac said of Motes. “She always wants to get in that one last shot (during practices) to make sure she’s getting it right.
“You never have to worry that you’re not getting her best.”
For Motes, though, giving it all during practices and games is about more than improving her jump shot.
“The main thing I need to do is improve my basketball I.Q.,” she said. “I’ve only been playing a couple of years and I need to get better at making good decisions on the court.”
Also a track and cross country star at Augusta Christian, Motes took up basketball as a sixth-grader. Unlike running, Motes said, basketball gives her the opportunity to play in a group dynamic.
“I like basketball the best because it’s a team sport,” she said. “You always have someone there to encourage you and get you pumped up.”
Isaac said it is Motes who often gets the team motivated.
“She hates to lose, so she has that drive to win she instills in the other players around her,” he said. “It’s never a dull moment when Anna is around.”
In Motes, Isaac sees a player with the potential to become a great team leader by example.
“She needs to work on her consistency,” he said. “If she can improve her consistency, she has the talent to be a truly great basketball player.”