PELL CITY -- Tori Winslett was selected The Daily Home Player of the Week after leading Pell City High School’s girl basketball team to three wins in four games.
“I feel blessed that God has given me the ability to play basketball,” Winslett said. “I thank my teammates because some of my points wouldn’t have come if it wasn’t for them. I am happy and blessed to play for Coach (Jennifer) Lee and this team. I love playing with them, it is always exciting.”
The junior guard averaged 18 points per game in three wins last week.
Winslett opened the season with a 24-point performance in Pell City’s 58-24 win over Sylacauga.
“We were missing one of our top scorers, our shooting guard, Reagan (Tarver), so I knew that I was going to have to score a little bit for us to be able to win,” she said. “Coach Lee told me that the lane was going to be open all night, so that is where I got most of my points. My teammates passed me the ball, and I was able to get to the goal.”
Winslett also had a solid showing in the St. James Invitational last Friday and Saturday as the Lady Panthers went 2-1 in the tournament. Pell City fell to Prattville Christian in the opening game 55-39 but bounced back with a 44-21 win over Geneva and a 58-27 victory over Straughn.
Winslett scored 17, 14, and six points in the three games, but it was how she played on the other end of the court that stood out to her the most.
“I think I played well defensively in the tournament,” she said. “I am not just an offensive player, I can play defense, too.”
Winslett thinks playing in this tournament could help Pell City prepare for what it is going to face later in the season.
“I think playing in this tournament helped us out a lot,” Winslett said. “It lets us know where we are as far as our area because we play teams that are really fundamental like Springville, Southside and Oxford. I think it showed us what we need to work on.”
Last winter, Pell City had one of its best seasons in over a decade as the Lady Panthers finished 21-10.
The young Lady Panthers, however, fell a game short of accomplishing their goal of advancing to the regional tournament. Winslett said not making it to regionals motivated her in the offseason.
“We haven’t won the area since I have been on the team, and when we didn’t win the area last year, it was a big deal,” Winslett said. “I think we could have made it to regionals, but I think it was all a learning process. I believe being a year older; we are going to be able to make it to regionals.”
With COVID-19 cases on the rise across the country, Winslett knows there may be a chance the season could get interrupted.
“We are trying to play every game like it is our last game because we don’t when they are going to shut it down,” Winslett said. “Coach Lee told us to take it game-by-game and always give it your all whether it is in a game, practice, scrimmages or anything that we are doing. When I cross those lines, I think this could be my last game, so I am going to make the most of this.”