Greenbrier's Sara Oland and Bryan Andrews have a few things in common beyond their respective places on the girls and boys basketball teams.
For starters, the nontraditional spellings of their first names have resulted in occasional butchering in the past by teachers, coaches and local media.
"One time I didn't have an 'I' or a 'Y.' It was just B-R-A-N," Andrews said. "It happens often."
The other similarity comes in their size. In a sport where height matters, the 5-foot-10-inch Andrews and 5-foot-3-inch Oland often are the smallest players on the court. In fact, Andrews' oversize No. 42 jersey seems to swallow him up at times.
The sophomore said his rare situation last season as a freshman on the varsity squad is to blame for the uniform mismatch.
"I played one game on JV, then came up to varsity," he said. "I was No. 33 all my life, but one of the varsity players (Phillip Jeffcoat) already had that. Coach just threw a number at me before my first game, and it was No. 42."
Even though he could have his pick of a more comfortable fit, Andrews stuck with the oversize jersey and number this season.
"It's mine now. Your number's your personality," he said.
Despite the size difference, once Andrews and Oland step on the basketball court, their game is head and shoulders above the competition. The pair proved that recently when they were named the Turkey Tip-Off Tournament MVPs after leading their squads to a pair of tournament championships.
Andrews averaged 17 points per game in the two-day tournament, including a 16-point performance in a 49-45 win over Evans in the opening round.
"Bryan Andrews is the one who stepped up for us," Greenbrier boys basketball coach Casey Dees said. "He runs the show, and tonight he did what a point guard is supposed to do."
Oland totalled 21 points in two easy wins over Evans and Harlem last week to earn her first tournament MVP. The Lady Wolfpack, who entered the tournament ranked No. 9 in the Class AAAA preseason poll, outscored their opponents 130-54 in the two games.
A strong, full-court press from the Lady Wolfpack made the biggest difference. Oland and fellow starting guard Michelle Sweic led the pressure, and Oland said it will only get better.
"The press is really important because it's the key to our defense," she said. "We're getting there. We still need our basketball legs."
Both Oland and Andrews have plenty of time to perfect the finer points of their game. Neither starters are in their senior year. Oland is a junior and Andrews is only a sophomore.
"Every year you should improve more and get better," Oland said. "Your senior year should be your best, but that can't restrict you. You can't wait to play your best just during your senior year."
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