Freshman making huge impact for 8th ranked Bulldogs
ALPINE- The emergence of Anslea Twymon has helped the Winterboro Lady Bulldogs basketball program become one of the top programs in Class 1A. Twymon and the eighth ranked Lady Bulldogs finished the regular season 25-3. After being knocked out in the Sweet 16 the past two seasons, she believes her team is ready to take that next step.

“Winning the Final Four and getting a ring is our biggest goal,” Twymon said. “That is all we are worried about: getting to the Final Four and getting a ring to say we did it and we made it.”

Getting knocked out of the Central Regional Tournament the past two seasons put a bad taste in Twymon’s mouth. The freshman said playing in the Baller Prep Tournament over the Christmas break helped prepare her team for a postseason run.

“It helped us a lot,” she said. “I remember the first year we went to regional, we had to wake up real early in the morning when it was still dark to go down there to play. Coach Smith gets us ready for early games. We are not used to playing early in the morning, we are used to playing at night. When we have those games in the regionals and the Final Four we will know what those games feel like.”

Winterboro head coach Sheroderick Smith said he likes the confidence that Twymon is playing with this season.

“One thing I can say about Anslea, is probably one of my most coachable players,” Smith said. “ It is really hard to get on her, because she is always trying to make sure she is doing the right thing. The only thing I had to get on her during her eighth grader year is her confidence. She was always trying to impress other people and I told her ‘hey you play for Coach Smith and if you believe in me, then I believe in you.’ This year, she is being very aggressive. She took some key shots for us this year, especially the one at TC. I believe in my players. I don’t care if they make the shot or miss the shot. If they have the confidence to take the shot that is what I look for. Anslea has it.”

The last three seasons, Twymon has shown improvement on her game. As a seventh grader she averaged 5.3 points per game, as an eighth grader her averaged improved to 10.7 points per game and as a freshman she averages 12 points per game. She credits the improvement in her game to the work she put in the summer.

“I just try to work hard in practice during the summer and try to put extra time in the gym,” Twymon said.

Smith said he didn’t put any pressure on Twymon her first seasons of varsity.

“You don’t want to put girls in a situation to where they are afraid to make mistakes, they are afraid to try and afraid to succeed,” Smith said. “I don’t put any pressure on them in seventh or eight grade. You don’t want to blow their head up to early too. I actually feel that Anslea is growing up the right way. Right now, she is my second leading scorer. I know she passed the 500-point marker en route to the 1,000-point club. Being that she is one of my most coach able players I know during the Baller Prep Tournament she got attention from a lot of travel teams and that is good for our program. We have some players in our program. It makes Winterboro girls one of the most respected programs in the county, but we are trying to get that state respect.”

Twymon said she has had a couple of memorable moments in the regular season.

“The TC game and the Lincoln tournament,” the freshman guard said. “ I remember in the Lincoln tournament that Jasmine fouled out and it was just us. We kept going to the free throw line. I believe the only reason we won that game is because of the free throws that we made. In the TC game, the score was going back and forth. We found a way to pull out a win that night.”

Twymon hopes the Lady Bulldogs will have a memorable postseason. Winterboro takes on the winner of ASD-Westminster on Thursday at 7 p.m. in the Class 1A Area 7 tournament.

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