By Tommy Keeler Jr.
FRONT ROYAL -- Autumn Troxell can do a little bit of everything for the Wildcats.
The Warren County 6-foot-1 junior point guard can score, she can rebound, run the offense and get the key assists.
All of her skills were on hand in the Wildcats 44-40 win over Skyline on Saturday. Troxell scored the Wildcats' first eight points in the game, including a couple on putbacks inside the paint.
"We came out strong. We knew Skyline was going to put up a fight," Troxell said in a phone interview on Monday. "I just tried to feed off the energy of our team and add fuel to the fire."
Troxell, the Northern Virginia Daily's Female Athlete of the Week for the week of Dec. 29-Jan. 4, may have saved the best of her performance for the final period.
The Hawks battled back from a 14-point deficit to cut the lead four early in the fourth period.
Troxell then made a couple big plays to help her team. She scored on a driving layup, and then on the next possession threw a nice pass inside to teammate Alesha Adams for the easy score to put the Wildcats up eight with 3:32 left in the game.
Troxell said she enjoys getting the assist as much as scoring.
"I personally like getting assists," Troxell said. "I like to get everybody involved in the game. Assists are just as big as points. The points wouldn't be happening without the people who pass you the ball."
Troxell said she feels she's improved her ball-handling skills, and her rebounding. She said she feels like she started off a little slow this season, but that may be changing after the win over Skyline.
Warren County coach John Kelly said Troxell played a key role in the win.
"We knew going in that [Skyline coach Jim Kenney's] goal was to shut [Warren County senior] Alesha [Adams] down so the other players had to step up," Kelly said after the win Saturday. "And Autumn [Troxell] really did. Autumn had a great game. She shot the ball well inside."
The Wildcats lost to Skyline, 53-41, on Dec. 20, and Troxell said they definitely wanted to have a better showing in the second encounter.
Warren County is 5-4, but is 3-1 in the Bull Run District. The Wildcats have two tough road games this week at George Mason on Wednesday and at Clarke County on Friday.
They are currently the top two teams in the district standings.
"Hopefully, we can come out strong like we did against Skyline," Troxell said. "We just need to calm things down and come out strong, and I think things will go our way."
The Wildcats returned a lot from last year's team, and Troxell said she believes the team's best games are ahead of them.
"I definitely feel like once we get through this bad patch, and get everybody scoring more and coming together we'll play even better in our future games," Troxell said.
Contact Assistant Sports Editor Tommy Keeler at 540-465-5137 ext. 168, or firstname.lastname@example.org Follow on Twitter @tkeelernvd