Entering high school as a much-heralded freshman a year ago, Allie Troeckler was very comfortable in her role of coming off the bench and adding instant offense on a talented and experienced Civic Memorial girls basketball team.
This season, Troeckler’s role has changed.
Going from one of the options on the offensive end of the court, to the Eagles go-to girl, Troeckler has Civic Memorial one game away from a return trip to the Class 3A Super Sectional.
“Nobody expected much out of us to begin the season because we graduated so many seniors from last year. But we’ve grown a lot as the season has gone on and in the last couple of games you’ve seen that,” Troeckler said. “Am I surprised we’re 26-6 and playing for a sectional title? Maybe a little bit.
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“But I’ve played with these girls for most of my life and I knew what we were capable of doing. It just took time.”
Troeckler, who after leading the Eagles in scoring a year ago (13.1 ppg.), has developed into one of the premier players in the St. Louis area as a sophomore. The 5-foot-10 Troeckler is the top scorer in the metro-east (21.1), shooting 57 percent from the floor. Proving she is a complete player, Troeckler also averages 8.8 rebounds, three steals. 2.5 assists and 2 blocked shots a game.
“She’s had to do a little more this year. We’ve given her more responsibilities and at times we’ve asked Allie to take over games and she’s been able to do that. She also does it on both ends of the court and she’s very unselfish,” Eagles coach Jonathan Denney said. “But what separates her is that she’s got a motor that just doesn’t stop. She’s a warrior, a real competitor.
“And when you put great athletic and basketball ability and combine it with that warrior mentality, you’ve got a very special player.”
Already with more then 1,100 points in her career, Troeckler has been a special player in the post season. Trocekler opened tournament play with a 30-point effort in a 54-39 win over Mater Dei, then added 23 points in the Eagles upset win over Highland in the regional title game.
“We had beaten Mater Dei earlier and so we knew we could again. But the Highland game was a little different because they had beaten us three times during the regular season,” Troeckler said. “We knew we could do it if we just went out and played our game and we did it. It was a team effort.”
Troeckler then scored 26 points in the Eagles 55-46 win over Salem on Monday in the semifinals of the Class 3A Highland Sectional. Civic Memorial takes on Massac County on Thursday in the sectional title game. A win would move the Eagles into the Springfield Super-Sectional on Monday with a probable game with top-ranked Normal U. High.
Troeckler tuned up for her sophomore season by playing AAU ball with the Springfield Predators. She will play with a St. Louis team this summer when she will get to play with local players such as Makenzie Silvey and Criste’on Waters of Edwardsville, among others.
Troeckler said she spent a lot of time working on her perimeter game and is becoming more adapt and comfortable roaming on the perimeter and with her 3-point shot.
“I’m still more confident playing inside because that’s where I’ve always played,” Troeckler said. “But I worked a lot on the perimeter and have worked on my ball-handling skills and outside shot. If I’m able to put those things into a consistent part of my game, its going to open up the middle for me because defenses will have top come out and guard me. It will also open things up for my teammates.”
Troeckler’s game at this stage of her career has been compared by some to former Highland standout Katie Hempen. A former all-state selection, Hempen is now playing her junior season as a member of the Arizona State University squad.
“I see a lot of similarities between the two,” Denney said. “They have the same mentality where I’m not going to let my team lose and when the game is on the line, they want the ball in their hands.”
Although college is still two years away, Troeckler is hoping to make her dreams of playing college sports a reality.
“It’s been my dream ever since I was a little girl to play college sports,” Troeckler said. “But for me’s it more about playing time then it is going to a big-time school. That and going someplace that has what I want to study. It’s about the education.”