|The mighty Quinn|
|Berry Academy’s Milan Quinn leads by example|
|Published Wednesday, February 13, 2013 1:06 pm|
Milan Quinn’s voice is matching her game.
|Berry Academy forward Milan Quinn, a Wake Forest signee, is one of Mecklenburg County’s top players. The senior averages 17.4 points, 7.4 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 2.4 steals and 2.7 blocks per game.|
The Berry Academy senior has become a more vocal leader in her final season with the Cardinals (16-5, 9-1), who play Alleghany Street rival Harding High tonight for the MEGA-7 3A/4A regular season championship. Quinn, a 6-2 forward who has committed to Wake Forest, is one of Mecklenburg County’s best all-around players, averaging 17.4 points, 7.4 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 2.4 steals and 2.7 blocks per game.
“She’s a versatile player on the court,” Cardinals coach Ryan Copeland said. “Off the court she’s learning how to be a leader vocally and she leads by example. In the past, she’s been very quiet. I’ve encouraged her to speak up, get on (her) teammates; get on them a little bit. She’s stepping up to the plate.”
Quinn’s latest accomplishment was breaking the 1,000-point barrier, which she did Feb. 8 in a 43-27 win against Charlotte Catholic. She started the week 34 points away from the 400-point mark for the season with two games to play. Then there’s the postseason, which will give Quinn an opportunity to add to her career-best campaign with Berry, which is a game behind Harding for the top seed in next week’s league tournament.
“It took some hard work, but I feel like I’ve been improving over the seasons,” Quinn said. “This year I feel like I’m really stepping up. That really helped me.”
In addition to Copeland pushing leadership, Quinn took it upon herself to hone her all-around game. She’s improved as a defender and has become Berry’s top offensive option, capable of scoring off the drive or playing opposite 6-4 freshman center Ra’Shika White. It worked against Catholic, where both scored 11 points.
“It’s a luxury to have the size we have,” Copeland said, “and when they go to double-teaming a freshman, I can let my upperclassman go to work. They had two people touching (White) all night after the first couple of buckets, then we took advantage of the space.”
Said Quinn: “When they started double-teaming (White), it opened up the outside more, so we got more open jump shots and stuff like that.”
Quinn is a matchup nightmare for most defenders. She has the size to post up smaller opponents, the speed to get past bigger defenders and the ball-handling skill to get teammates involved. When starting point guard Imani Parr missed the first three games of the season with a concussion, it was Quinn who ran the offense.
“It’s a luxury to have a 6-2 point forward,” Copeland said. “She can handle it. She’s put in a lot of work before I got here. She could handle it from day one.”
Berry will need Quinn to come up big in the postseason with the young Cardinals, who have just four seniors and a first-year coach in Copeland. Going deep into the playoffs would be an ideal closing chapter.
“We have a whole new team and we’re really close,” she said, “so I’ll miss playing with them and seeing everybody grow.” she said.
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