Lindsey Brown

Brian Tannehill / For The Herald Edgewood’s Lindsey Brown (3) averaged 14.1 points per game in her first varsity season.

Despite being just an eighth-grader, Lindsey Brown needed just one season to make her mark on the Edgewood girls program. She was the youngest player on the court most nights but that did not stop Brown from staying positive and rising to the challenge.

“At the beginning of the year, I knew it was going to be a good season,” Brown said. “There was a little bit of pressure because I knew I was the youngest but my teammates had my back and that helped to take some of that pressure off.”

Brown led the Wildcats back to the AISA-AA Elite Eight as she led the team with 14.1 points and 2.4 assists per game. Brown is the Elmore County Player of the Year.

“I think I saw her mature as a basketball player,” Edgewood coach Darryl Free said. “Her physical ability was always there but she got to understand the varsity game more and more by the end of the year. She got to use that basketball knowledge with her talent.”

It was not just the offensive end where Brown could be found as she quickly became a force at the top of Edgewood’s defense. The Wildcats knew they couldn’t win with their scoring alone but Brown helped lead a stout defense and averaged 2.9 steals per game.

“Her commitment on the defensive side of the ball was always going to be there,” Free said. “She was relentless in her effort. Those plays were just Lindsey being passionate about the game. She has an energy level that is so fun to watch.”

Free also attributed Brown’s rebounding to that passion and effort. Despite often being outsized by opponents in the paint, Brown still averaged 5.1 rebounds per game.

Those kinds of plays quickly made Brown stand out to her older teammates and she developed into a leader on the court. Because she was the point guard, Brown wanted to be a leader and she got help from some older girls to help set a precedent for the rest of the team.

“She was able to lead by example — maybe not so much verbally but by her actions,” Free said. “At the end of the day, they knew to look to her for her talent and work ethic. She works hard at everything she does and that translates into natural leadership.”

After a strong start to her career, Brown is setting high expectations for herself. She wants to play with her travel ball team again this year and she knows she needs to work on her shooting form. But Brown believes with more hard work, she can chase after the AISA career points record which currently sits at more than 2,000.

On her current pace, Brown would not make it to that mark but Free said there are still plenty of areas to improve on, especially her outside shooting.

“She can shoot it but we have to get more consistent in her shot,” Free said. “That will come with the more reps that she gets. She has to understand to slow the game down sometimes which will allow her to get better quality shots.”

While the individual goals are sky high, Brown is still focused on taking her team further in the postseason. After three consecutive quarterfinal exits, Brown is ready for the next step.

“It motivates me, especially being the youngest one,” Brown said. “I fouled out in that game so I want to get another chance. I hope it motivates the rest of my team to push themselves over the summer too so we can go further.”

Caleb Turrentine is a sports writer for Tallapoosa Publishers Inc.