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The Daily Register - Harrisburg, IL
  • Girls Basketball: Shooting The Lights Out

  • Douglas sets sight on state three-point title at state tournament
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  • The way Malayana Douglas looks at it, she's been spending a good portion of the year "stockpiling"
    The junior guard for the Harrisburg High School girls' basketball team isn't known for her shooting prowess. Matter of fact, Douglas herself will admit, she doesn't even shoot in games.
    Yet, somehow, someway, the 5-foot-7 guard is embarking on a trip to Normal where she will join the state's other best shooters in the finals of the Country Financial Three Point Showdown Thursday at 5 p.m.
    Douglas advanced from last week's sectional, making 10-of-15. At the regional in Hamilton County, Douglas also took first place with nine made 3-pointers.
    Douglas still isn't sure what the secret to her success is. Although, she does have a plan and so far, it's worked.
    "I just go in there and take my time," Douglas said of shooting from the three racks of five balls. "I feel like in a game, I'm more rushed or forced to shoot quicker. But, in this competition, I can get settled, set and shoot at my own pace."
    Douglas credits teammate and friend Whitney Younger with what she calls "great advice."
    "Whitney told me to 'just not worry about it. I think that's the reason I've kind of done so well. I don't have any great expectations on myself. I just go up there and shoot."
    To come away as the top shooter at both the regional and sectional has been both a shock and a surprise for Douglas. And as if she wants even more added pressure, she now knows she's not only representing the community of Harrisburg, but the population of southern Illinois.
    "I think this is all really cool. It's all still pretty surreal that I get to represent southern Illinois."
    Practice has not been Douglas' friend, it's not to say that it's been her enemy, she just hasn't taken much stock in at all.
    "Honestly, if I practice, I really feel like it screws a lot of things up. I didn't shoot at all before I left for sectionals. I just went on the spot and shot."
    Douglas jokes however that she might …. might practice for the state tournament.
    "This is going to be different," Douglas admits. "I'm going to have to overcome the bigness of the gym, but I really appreciate my teammates and how supportive they've been. A lot of them gave up their Valentine Day plans to come watch me at sectionals."
    As for next year, Douglas' game has developed a new way of thinking.
    "Maybe I should start shooting more!"
    Michael Dann can be reached at hbgsports@dailyregister. com Follow Michael Dann on Twitter @spydieshooter.
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