Versatile Bischoff ready to lead Rams this season

Strasburg's Haley Bischoff fires a 3-point shot against Clarke County On Feb. 1 in Strasburg. Bischoff will be looking to lead the way for the Rams this season. Rich Cooley/Daily file

STRASBURG – Haley Bischoff is 5-foot-4, but it wouldn’t be wise for opposing teams to be fooled by her size.

The Strasburg senior basketball player can play anywhere on the floor. She can run the point or mix it up inside the paint against taller girls. In fact, Bischoff said her favorite part of the game is getting rebounds.

“I like contact. I like being tough,” Bischoff said of rebounding. “Usually people don’t think I’m as fast as I am or as agile. They usually put one of the girls that are smaller on me. I don’t think they know what they have coming for them.”

This year Bischoff will be the only senior on Strasburg’s squad.

Strasburg coach Darin Jenkins said Bischoff’s versatility will be key for the Rams this season.

“We can play her anywhere on the floor on offense, and we can play her against anybody on the defensive end,” Jenkins said. “She’s quick enough to go out and guard your best ball handler, but she’s strong enough and determined enough to go down on the block and battle your post. So we’ll sort of move her around this year where we feel like we need to. A lot of nights she’ll probably be on the other team’s best player, just from the experience and her being able to compete like she does.”

Last year Bischoff showed her versatility as she did a little bit of everything for the Rams.

She averaged 8 points, 9.3 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 3.0 steals per game.

Bischoff said one of her goals this season is to average a double-double in points and rebounds, which she was close to doing last year.

Jenkins said Bischoff’s worked hard at improving her ball-handling skills, and could play point guard some this year if they need her to.

Bischoff said she didn’t start playing basketball until eighth grade. She said she learned a lot her sophomore year, her first on varsity. The team had only nine players, and she said that really helped going into her junior season.

She said her junior season was her favorite year so far.

“I had a good season last year. My teammates really helped me improve,” Bischoff said. “(Strasburg graduate) Kelsey (Jenkins) was probably one of the biggest people I looked up to, because she was the point guard. She was my best friend.”

In the offseason, Bischoff said she played on an Amateur Athletic Union team – the Shenandoah County Waves – and she said it was a good experience.

Bischoff said she played basketball a lot over the summer to get ready for the season, and also worked with her uncle, Bear, and dad, B.J., a lot at the town park.

“My uncle is the one that taught me a lot about the post moves,” Bischoff said. “He played in high school, so he’s always the one I look to for basketball.”

The Rams, who start their season on Tuesday at Page County, have a very young squad this season, with five freshmen, three sophomores, three juniors and one senior.

“We lost Kelsey (Jenkins) and Carey (Scott) from last year’s team and they were kind of who I looked up to the most,” Bischoff said. “So now I feel like since I’m the oldest one on the team, and being the only senior, I’ve got a lot of young ones that look up to me. So I should probably try my hardest and just be a good role model for everyone.”

Contact staff writer Tommy Keeler at 540-465-5137 ext. 168, or tkeeler@nvdaily.com.