2 ‘towering’ Knights in sync on, off court
ONA — Sierra Jordan and Emily Pitkin like to go to movies together.
Just don’t sit behind them.
The “twin towers” of Cabell Midland High School girls basketball have helped the Knights to a 10-4 record and No. 10 ranking in Class AAA. College coaches have noticed. WVU Tech assistant coach Anna Kowalska spent considerable time talking the players last week after a game at Huntington High.
“She asked if we’re a package deal,” said Pitkin, a 6-foot-1 center.
Jordan, a 5-11 forward, and Pitkin, who have played basketball together since they were in fourth grade at Nichols Elementary, would love to play college basketball together.
“The only reason I played was because she played,” Jordan said, pointing to Pitkin and drawing laughter from her teammate and close friend. “It was then that I realized I was actually kind of good at it.”
Good indeed. Both players have visited Fairmont State University. Pitkin has drawn interest from Wheeling Jesuit University and Longwood University. Jordan has heard from Bethany College and Marietta College.
Whether they play together is to be determined, but both want their playing careers extended after high school. Knights coach Matt Adkins said he thinks both will receive that opportunity.
“They’re very deserving,” Adkins said. “We’ll see. Whoever gets them will get some great kids.”
Pitkin averages about 17 points and 12 rebounds per game. Jordan averages about 16 points and 12 rebounds. Their height creates mismatches with most foes.
“They’re good,” Huntington High coach Lonnie Lucas said. “They present some problems inside. They block some shots.”
Jordan and Pitkin block shots and alter many more. They’re aggressive rebounders and can step outside and knock down shots. When asked to analyze one another’s games, the girls laughed and then rapidly spilled out accolades.
“Sierra is good at driving to the basket and she almost always makes her free throws,” Pitkin said. “She stays in the game and doesn’t get tired. She takes criticism well and and is a very disciplined player.”
Jordan gushed similar accolades for Pitkin.
“Emily is a good team player,” Jordan said.
“She uses her height and takes advantage of it to get offensive rebounds. She boxes out. She’s gotten better with her low post moves. She stays in the game and is pretty balanced.”
The duo led Milton Middle School to the Cabell County championship as eighth graders.They’d like to pace Cabell Midland to a state title as seniors. The Knights, though, play in a rugged sectional with third-ranked Spring Valley and fifth-ranked Huntington High, so getting past the first round of the postseason could be a major accomplishment.
“We have some things we need to work on,” Jordan said. “We need to get it all together, soon. We’re good when we work really well together.”
Adkins said his team is working on the basics in preparing for late-season and post-season runs he hopes results in victories. He said his team, particularly the two big girls, have responded well.
“They’re excellent to coach,” Adkins said of Pitkin and Jordan.
“They’re really fun. I’ve watched them grow since eighth grade. When they’re gone, we’ll miss them.”
Both players credited their families and coaches with encouraging and supporting them through their basketball playing days. They also praised one another for pushing to improve. Such support doesn’t end at the baseline of the basketball court. Jordan and Pitkin are best friends off the court.
“We go to movies,” Pitkin said. “We go to games together, have dinner together. Talk about boyfriends. We do stuff that normal best friends do.”
Both say the friendship will continue through college, whether they’re wearing the uniform of the same team or are at different schools. Jordan plans to major in the medical field. Pitkin is eyeing a law degree.
“We’d love to go together,” Pitkin said.
“We don’t have to, but it would be really nice,” Jordan said. “We’d prefer it.”
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