By Robert Wilson
Point guard Andie Flatgard was almost always in the lineup during a game for Coach Michael McAnally during her high school career at Jackson Prep.
Her ability to see the floor, control the tempo, play tight defense, makes crisp passes and score from various areas of the court paid off whenever Prep’s games were close.
Flatgard led Prep to a 37-2 record and the MAIS Overall Tournament championship last season.
Alabama-Huntsville coach Andrea Lemmond realized Flatgard’s ability quickly this fall and she has started every game this season.
And last week, Flatgard performed so well she received the Gulf South Conference Freshman of the Week award.
She averaged 6.7 points, 5.3 rebounds and 5.0 assists in three games last week to earn the honor.
Flatgard ranks third in the conference, playing 35.3 minutes a game, and 13th with 2.6 assists per game. So she is sitting on the bench only 4.7 minutes per game. Flatgard has had a career-high six assists in two of her last three games.
“We are proud of Andie and the role she has earned at UAH,” said McAnally, who was named the PriorityOne Bank/Mississippi Scoreboard Metro Jackson Girls Basketball Coach of the Year last season. “Where part of me is a little surprise that Andie is starting and playing 35-plus minutes as a true freshman, I really shouldn’t be given how driven she is and her desire to be the best. That drive helped carry us to an Overall title. Andie is simply a winner and she refused to let our team lose last year. I feel certain that her will to succeed will play dividends for UAH in the months and years to come.”
Flatgard is one of five freshman and two transfers who are trying to help improve on last year’s 7-17 overall record, 6-13 in the conference. Alabama-Huntsville’s top returning scorer and rebounder, senior forward Alexis Woods, suffered a season-ending knee injury in the first game this season.
“This is exciting because there aren’t many other teams with this many freshmen and sophomores getting this much playing time,” Flatgard said. “It’s paying off from game to game. You see more experience even to the next game. In a year or two when we have that much experience, it’s exciting.”
Flatgard is averaging 8.3 points, 5.5 rebounds (second on the team) and leads the team with 21 assists and nine steals for the 2-6 Lady Chargers. She has scored in double figures four times (high of 11 points twice) and had a double double (10 points and 12 rebounds against Auburn-Montgomery).
Flatgard and her teammates make a two-game conference Mississippi road trip this weekend. They play at Delta State Friday at 5:30 p.m. and at Mississippi College Sunday at 2 p.m.
MC’s A.E. Wood Coliseum is where Flatgard played her final high school game for Prep, winning the Overall Tournament championship game.
Flatgard was the first Prep girls player to earn a college basketball scholarship since Lori Jenkins signed with MC in the 1990s. Flatgard – a member of the All-Metro Jackson first team last season – averaged 17.1 points last season, second only to Laurel Bane’s school record of 18.1 points per game in 2010-2011 season.