When opponents get their first look at Greenbrier starting guard Michelle Swiec, they don't see much to be afraid of.
At least, not until she steps onto the court.
"A lot of people underestimate her," Greenbrier junior Tiffany Blackburn said. "She doesn't look intimidating."
In last weekend's win over region foe Wayne County, the Lady Yellow Jackets quickly learned looks can be deceiving.
Swiec scored eight points on two steals, a 3-pointer and a three-point play in a first quarter that saw the Lady Wolfpack take a 15-6 lead.
The junior point guard turned in a team-high 17 points in the 58-41 win.
It was no fluke.
Swiec averages 16.3 points per game and, as a junior, has already surpassed the 1,000-point milestone. The results are a Lady Wolfpack team that started the season with 11 straight wins and entered the week as the best girl's team in Columbia County with a 15-1 overall record.
"Michelle is our leader," Greenbrier girl's basketball coach Garrett Black said. "She's a coach's dream. Everything we do involves her."
Swiec's involvement in the Greenbrier offense is evident in her statistics. She's scored more than 20 points four different times this season, including a 30-point performance against Cross Creek on Dec. 17. However, the Lady Wolfpack lost the game. It was their only blemish in an otherwise perfect start to the season.
Swiec was quick to take a positive outlook on the game.
"Being undefeated put a lot of pressure on us," she said. "Of course, we want to win, but the loss was a bit of a relief."
Since the loss, Greenbrier has rattled off four straight wins and holds a perfect 2-0 region record. Swiec has averaged 17.8 points per game during that stretch. To Swiec, the team stats trump her individual numbers.
"I keep track of the wins," she said. "We want to make it to the state championship."
The goal could become a reality in a little more than a month. The Lady Wolfpack have the playoff experience after reaching the AAAA Elite Eight last season.
They also have the talent with senior center Melissa Lewis dominating the post and three potential 3-point threats in Swiec, Blackburn and sophomore Sarah Oland.
Playing alongside so many weapons, Swiec said, finding her role is easy.
"I'm a point guard, so I need to be the leader," she said. "A lot of my scoring is getting great passes from my teammates. I just run down the floor and make a lay-up."
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.