When looking back on the greatest championship teams in basketball history, a similar theme is noticeable: the possession of a “Big Three.”
It may be time to call the Green Hope girls basketball’s trio of Allie Winiecki, Nia Washington and Kelly Fitzgerald the “big three” after they combined to score 44 of their team’s first 46 points as the Falcons cruised to a 49-21 victory against visiting Middle Creek Tuesday night.
After improving to 12-3 overall and 6-1 in Southwest Wake Athletic Conference play, the Falcons are in the hunt for their first conference title since 2013.
Mike Robinson, who has a 149-36 record and four conference championships under his belt at Green Hope, may be at the helm of his most unique group. With Washington making her debut to the lineup as a freshman and Winiecki making her curtain call as a senior, this is the first and only year the Falcons’ “big three” will stay intact.
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“Four or five or six years ago we had some really great players, but Nia is just a freshman, Kelly is a junior and Allie is a senior, and those girls have only played together since the start of this year,” Robinson said. “With those three playing together, sharing the basketball, it makes us a whole lot better basketball team.”
Winiecki, the team’s most consistent shooter, and Fitzgerald’s impeccable floor general skills guided the Falcons to a 13-9 record last year, but Washington’s athleticism and versatile skill set may have been the missing the piece in the eyes of Winiecki.
“We’ve never really had a true post, so someone like Nia in a traditional set isn’t a post but is very fast and can get around posts,” Winiecki said. “Kelly can drive very well and dish off, too.”
Middle Creek (8-9, 4-3) was led in points by Makayla Patrick (eight) and in rebounds by Natalie McBride (six).
Green Hope scored 12 of its first 14 points from behind the arc to race out to a 14-0 lead, one that never fell below 12 points for the rest of the night.
They said it
“The first win is always good, you never know what’s going to happen after Christmas, you’re off a little bit, have a layover or whatever but we came out focused and hopefully it jump-starts us to keep going,” Green Hope coach Mike Robinson said.
Three who mattered
Allie Winiecki, Green Hope: 16 points, five rebounds, two 3s.
Nia Washington, Green Hope: 18 points, four rebounds, one assist, one 3-pointer.
Kelly Fitzgerald, Green Hope: 10 points, four rebounds, seven assists, two 3s.
By the numbers
14: Players who recorded at least one point, rebound or assist for Green Hope, which was every girl who dressed.
6: The highest amount of points that Middle Creek scored in any quarter.