FLOWER MOUND, Texas -- The Flower Mound girls basketball team has a bright future with junior point guard Ashley Deary at the helm of its offense.
Only Irving MacArthur and national standout Alexis Jones is ahead of her in points per game in the area. Deary is averaging 17.3 points this season.
She has made small but important improvements each year of her high school career.
"Ashley's a hard worker. She's developed more scoring opportunities from her freshman to sophomore year," Flower Mound coach Sherika Nelson said. "Our defense creates a lot of baskets for her."
Not only is Deary a threat in transition and through penetration, but she has also become a threat from the perimeter. Over the last two years, Deary has increased her 3-point percentage by 20 percent.
However, the real strength that has developed in her junior year is her ability to score the mid-range jumper off the dribble that opens up thanks to her speed and ball-handling ability.
"It used to be either a layup or a 3-pointer for her," Nelson said. "She's developed a mid-range game to pull up and shoot a jump shot in transition or off a pick-and-roll."
Deary's play on offense and especially on defense is characterized by intensity and emotion. Off the court, she turns into a quiet leader in the locker room.
Nelson said the guard can be shy at first but has opened up to her teammates and enjoys the fun-loving nature of the Flower Mound girls squad.
As Flower Mound continues this season and then in Deary's senior campaign, she can only continue to improve as she learns the mental aspects of the game that are taught through experience.
"She's learning game management much better. That's something a point guard has to learn throughout their career, and she's starting to understand when to pull up and when to slow down or when to go," Nelson said.